Kaufland Poland Under Investigation Over Alleged Unfair Contract Terms

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Kaufland Poland Under Investigation Over Alleged Unfair Contract Terms

Poland's Competition Authority, UOKiK, has instigated proceedings against retailer Kaufland, accusing the retailer of 'unfairly exploiting' its contractual advantage when it comes to dealing with suppliers.

In a statement, UOKiK said that it was focusing on two specific contract agreements that it says Kaufland Polska Markety, the Polish arm of the Schwarz Group-owned retailer, has taken with suppliers.

Alleged Contract Agreements

UOKiK claimed that terms are established with suppliers for a one-year period, and in the event of the contract being prolonged or being initiated late, the supplier 'does not know on what terms it is supplying products' in the period between the beginning of the year and the date of signing the contract.

Elsewhere, UOKiK also claimed that Kaufland Polska Markety charges some suppliers an additional rebate, which is not outlined in the contract, with suppliers unaware of when it will be asked to pay such a rebate, or how much it will amount to.

"Cooperation between entrepreneurs should be fair, which means that the rules of such cooperation, including discount terms, should be clearly defined and known to the parties before signing the contract," commented Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.


Other UOKiK Actions

UOKiK's actions follow similar proceedings against Jeronimo Martins Polska, which operates the Biedronka chain, which saw a PLN 115 million (€26 million) issued over what it claimed were 'numerous consumer complaints' regarding the incorrect display of prices in Biedronka stores.

The retailer said that it 'strongly disagreed' with the competition authority's claims.

Investigations into Eurocash and SCA PR Polska, the latter of which operates the Intermarché chain, are ongoing, it added.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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