Produttori e GDO: l’AGCM scioglie la supercentrale di acquisto Centrale Italiana

Produttori e GDO: l’AGCM scioglie la supercentrale di acquisto Centrale Italiana

di Giovanni Scoccini, pubblicato in Rivista di Diritto Alimentare , Anno VIII, numero 4


The Italian Competition Authority closed with a commitment decision an investigation into the buying alliance Centrale Italiana and five competing large retail chains which are members of it. Therefore, the investigation, which was aimed to verify whether the buying alliance was in breach of Art. 101 TFEU, was closed without ascertaining the infringement. The Authority made binding the commitments of the investigated parties to wind-up the buying alliance and to terminate every bilateral agreements among themselves. In the last years the food supply chain has been under the scrutiny of many European competition authorities because of the complaints of producers about the increasing bargaining power of retailers. The buying alliances increase further this buying power, but can lead to lower prices for consumers. In the case at hand the Italian Competition Authority considered the economic effects of the buying alliance both in the upstream market of product procurement and in the downstream market of product distribution to consumers. However, by adopting a commitment decision the Authority has not drawn the conclusions on the limits of the legality of buying alliances. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of the commitment decisions, such as legal uncertainty, the decision of the Authority to accept the commitments in this case appears to be appropriate. The winding-up of the buying alliance has eliminated the root of the competition concerns

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