Peru sanctioned Chilean supermarkets Ceconsud and Tottus with a millionaire fine for collusion

Peru sanctioned Chilean supermarkets Ceconsud and Tottus with a millionaire fine for collusion

The Commission for the Defense of Free Competition (CLC) of the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) from Perusanctioned and applied millionaire fines to Chilean supermarkets Cencosud and Tottus for the infringement of turkey price agreement, something that in Chile is known as collusion.

Cencosud Retail Perú and Hipermercados Tottus, together with the local chain Supermercados Peruanos (of InRetail), received the highest fines, for an amount close to US$1.2 million each, that is, about 990 million Chilean pesos.

The infraction consisted of the “setting of a minimum price” of the whole San Fernando turkey, regarding which, Indecopi specifies, “the companies aligned their prices to keep them artificially high” during the months of December between 2009 and 2016.

This information collected covered the agreement of large companies, according to statements recorded by Radio Programs of Peru, as well as emails and economic information, all obtained by the National Directorate for the Investigation and Promotion of Free Competition.

“In addition, the participation of San Fernando during the 2015 and 2016 Christmas campaigns as facilitator of the cartel, which was in charge of communicating the minimum price to self-service stores, transferring information and claims between them and seeking compliance with the agreement. Thus, each self-service conditioned its respect of the minimum price to compliance by the rest of the competitors”, Indecopi points out.

In response, the Commission for the Defense of Free Competition ordered that the offending companies implement a program to comply with the free competition rules for a period of 3 years, based on the recommendations contained in the Guide to Compliance Programs of the Free Competition Rules published by Indecopi in March 2020.

In the second instance, the resolution can be appealed before the Specialized Chamber for the Defense of Competition. For their part, Cencosud and Tottus, after denying having committed the sanctioned infraction, announced that they will appeal.

through the Financial Journal, the chains maintained that “we categorically deny having incurred in the accusations made by the Commission in the first instance, for which Tottus will present the pertinent appeals for review with a view to reversing this decision.”

While from Cencosud they indicated to the aforementioned media outlet that “we respectfully express our disagreement with what was resolved by the Commission for the Defense of Free Competition of Indecopi and we will appeal its ruling (…) In order to clarify the facts under investigation and dispel any doubt about our participation In the Peruvian market, we will continue to provide the necessary information and actively collaborate with the relevant authorities.”

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