Press Release 14/2016
The PCA adopts a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by Dia Portugal related to Minipreço franchise
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) adopted a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by Dia Portugal Supermercados, Sociedade Unipessoal, Lda. to meet the PCA´s competition concerns related to the Minipreço network of franchise supermarkets.
The PCA’s investigation, initiated on 3 April 2014revealed competition concerns in relation to the existence of information asymmetries which could induce Franchisees in believing that Dia Portugal maximum and recommended prices were, in fact, fixed resale prices.The investigation included the analysis of all Franchise Contracts, a questionnaire addressed to all Franchisees (around 300) and inquiries and inspections in several locations.
To address PCA’s competition concerns, DIA Portugal offered a set of commitments, including sending a Letter to the Franchise Network, clarifying that Franchisees are free to adopt prices lower than the maximum and recommended resale prices indicated by Dia Portugal, and including in all future Franchise Contracts, even with existing Franchisees, a clause or reference peremptorily excluding any interpretation contrary to that freedom.
Following the public consultation, which allowed any third parties to present their comments, the PCA concluded that the commitments presented by Dia Portugal were adequate to eliminate the potential harmful effects on competition and on consumer welfare.
According to the Portuguese Competition Act, the PCA may accept commitments offered by undertakings which are considered to be adequate to eliminate the effects on competition of the investigated conducts.
In this context, the PCA adopted a commitments decision on 9 June 2016.