In a statement, the AdC indicated that it “sanctioned three supermarket chains – Auchan, Modelo Continente and Pingo Doce – as well as the joint supplier of alcoholic beverages Active Brands/Gestvinus and a person in charge of this company, for having participated in a price-fixing scheme of sale to the consumer (PVP) of the products of that supplier”.
According to the same note, “the investigation conducted by the AdC showed that the participating distribution companies ensured the alignment of retail prices in their supermarkets through contacts established through the common supplier, without the need to communicate directly with each other”, said the regulator.
“Such a practice eliminates competition, depriving consumers of the option of better prices, but ensuring better levels of profitability for the entire distribution chain, including supplier and supermarket chains”, underlined the AdC.
According to Competition, “for the present infraction, a total fine of 5,665,178 euros was imposed”, and, according to the published data, Active Brands was fined 2.3 million euros, Modelo Continente in 1.4 million euros, Pingo Doce at 1.2 million euros, Auchan at 660 thousand euros and the individual responsible at 5,178 euros.
“Unfair and undeserved”
Pingo Doce has stated that that the fine from the Competition Authority (AdC) is “unfair and undeserved” and guarantees that “it will be challenged in the courts”, according to an official source.
“Pingo Doce confirms that it has received from the Competition Authority another decision to impose a fine, within the framework of the previous ones”, indicated the company, adding that “this decision is also unfair and undeserved and, therefore, like the previous ones, it will be challenged in the courts in order to establish the truth of the facts”.
“Nothing will stop Pingo Doce from continuing to offer the Portuguese the greatest discounts and the best price and promotion opportunities, as it has always done”, the same source also underlined.