A few days ago, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF) announced that it had imposed more than four million euros in fines on three distributors for “non-compliance with the rules” during 2019 business negotiations with agri-food suppliers. While Carrefour was fined 2.93 million euros and Sytème U, 1.14 million euros, Intermarché was fined 211,000 euros. But this fine is hard to pass.
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In the columns of The Obs, Intermarché president Thierry Cotillard regretted the lack of reciprocal sanctions. If he admits that he did not respect the deadline set on March 1 and does not contest this administrative fine, he regrets that the sanction has not been applied to suppliers. “The law applies to everyone, including Intermarché, we do not contest this administrative fine, of course. But, since it takes two to sign an agreement, it is important that the same sanction be applied to the suppliers concerned” , denounces the boss of Netto and Intermarché.
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Fears of retailers
Thierry Cotillard fears that this type of situation will happen again and that it will once again be the brand names that stand out and not the multinationals. “If distributors are solely accountable for compliance with the law, I can tell you that the powerful multinationals will manipulate this deadline to try to impose on distributors price increases disastrous for the purchasing power of consumers,” he warns. in the columns of L'Obs. And to add: “It is unimaginable that the multinationals are not subject to any constraint to respect, too, this deadline while the distributors, them, could be forced to accept their rate increases under penalty of “fine. We have the same Highway Code and the constable must apply it to all parties, without discrimination.”
Intermarché was singled out by the DGCCRF for not having respected the deadline set on March 1 for the signing of annual agreements with “a dozen suppliers”.