The fine imposed on Abistore confirmed, the distributor of sports equipment dictated prices to sellers
Between 2015 and 2018, Abistore concluded and fulfilled prohibited agreements on direct determination of retail prices of sports equipment for final consumers. This practice resulted in distortion of competition on the relevant market with sports equipment within the territory of the Czech Republic.
„The distributor shall not restrict the sellers in free retail pricing for final consumers. If he enforces maintaining certain price level, he distorts competition. This conduct results in higher prices for consumers,” stated Chairman Mlsna in relation to the decision.
Abistore is active mainly in the wholesale of sports equipment (fitness equipment; products for bodybuilding; roller skates, protective gear and accessories; scooters; skateboards; ice skates; equipment for badminton, tennis, squash and table tennis; trekking poles; poles for nordic walking and accessories; equipment for swimming) mostly through B2B system without written contract, or through phone/e-mail orders. In case of some retailers, Abistore demanded strict compliance with the prices it has set. Otherwise, Abistore restricted or interrupted supply of goods or excluded the retailers from B2B system. The anticompetitive conduct of Abistore was proved mainly by e-mail exchanges seized by the Office during conducted inspections.
The Chairman of the Office dismissed the appeal of Abistore in full extent. He rejected the objections concerning non-existence of written agreements, alleged insufficiency of evidence proving anticompetitive conduct, negligibility of conduct because of low market share of Abistore or incorrect calculation of imposed fine and its eliminating effect.
Press Unit of the Office
21/025 – R092/2020
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