Portuguese Competition Authority Fines Hospitals For Cartel Activities

The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) has sanctioned three supermarket chains – Auchan, Modelo Continente (Sonae Group), and Pingo Doce (Jerónimo Martins Group) – as well as their common supplier of cosmetics and personal care products Beiersdorf and one of its managers, for having participated in a scheme of price fixing on retail prices.

The AdC’s investigation concluded that by means of contact established through the common supplier, without the need to communicate directly with each other, the participating distribution companies ensured the alignment of retail prices in their supermarkets. This conspiracy is equivalent to a cartel and is known in competition law terminology, as “hub-and-spoke”.

Such behavior eliminates competition, depriving consumers of the option of better prices, ensuring better levels of profitability for the entire distribution chain, including the supplier and the supermarket groups.
For more information on the case, please see the AdC’s website.

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