Unfair trading practices: CCA imposes HRK 1.3m fine on SPAR Hrvatska d.o.o.

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) fined SPAR Hrvatska d.o.o. HRK 1.3 million for serious infringement of the Croatian Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain.

The CCA opened ex officio infringement proceeding within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act) with the view to establishing whether the re-seller SPAR used its strong bargaining power and imposed unfair trading practices by selling a food product, in this concrete case flour, to the final consumer at a price that was lower than any purchase price in the food supply chain. The CCA opened the infringement proceeding following a complaint of one supplier.

In the course of the proceeding the CCA found that in the period from 9 November 2018 to 11 November 2018 SPAR sold a specific food product – flour, to the final consumer at a price that was lower than any purchase price in the food supply chain and thereby committed a serious infringement of the UTPs Act that provides for a fine of up to HRK 5 million for such a serious infringement.

Taking into account the gravity, the scope and the duration and the consequences of the infringement concerned for the suppliers, as well as a number of extenuating circumstances, SPAR was imposed a fine in the amount of HRK 1.3 million.

It is the view of the CCA that the fine is proportional to the gravity, scope and duration of the infringement and that it will have a deterrent effect not only on SPAR but also on other re-sellers, buyers and processors in the food supply chain.

The CCA also prohibited SPAR any further above-described practices.

The integral text of the CCA non-confidential decision in the Croatian language is available here