Brussels, 9 March 2023 – AIM, the European Brands Association, regrets today’s decision by the European Court of Justice to uphold the French supermarkets’ claim that the European Commission failed to respect procedural requirements when it launched dawn raids targeting them.
We urge the Commission to continue to investigate whether Casino and Intermarché used retail alliance INCA to collude on their sales activities to guarantee fair competition and greater transparency in supermarket and hypermarket chains’ commercial practices. The fact that the Court annulled two dawn raids on procedural grounds does not call into question the substantive grounds on which the Commission decided to investigate Casino and Intermarché.
The current review of the Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations and Guidelines provides a unique opportunity for the Commission to take into account the views of the European Parliament by addressing the behaviour of certain retail alliances within these revised rules. This is why we are calling on the Commission to reassess whether leading grocery retailers are hindering fair competition by colluding in gatekeeper alliances that charge brand owners hefty market access fees just for the right to sell their products to their members.
“In the current climate of soaring raw material and energy costs and disrupted global supply chains, a strong competition policy framework and markets free from anti-competitive practices are essential to meet the ongoing challenges”, said Michelle Gibbons, Director General of AIM. “The annulment of the dawn raids doesn't discredit the Commission's decision to investigate Casino and Intermarché and AIM looks forward to the continuation of the investigation.”
For further information, please contact: Laurent Cenatiempo
Tel: +32 2 736 03 05 • Email: Laurent.Cenatiempo@aim.be
AIM (Association des Industries de Marque) is the European Brands Association, which represents manufacturers of branded consumer goods in Europe on key issues that affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands. AIM’s membership comprises 2500 businesses ranging from SMEs to multinationals, directly or indirectly through its corporate and national association members.
More information: www.aim.be