December 2022

Investigating Unfair Trading Practices

The President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) hopes to shift the balance of power between large retail chains and their local suppliers by investigating businesses suspected of engaging in unfair trading practices.

For many years, retail chains were free to set the terms of business-to-business relations in the agricultural and food supply chain, using this as an opportunity to charge their suppliers for sale-related services that, despite what the name itself might imply, had little to do with the actual sale transactions.

Penteris expert Jakub Kulicki comments: “Sale-related fees charged by retail chains from suppliers for the performance of various services are common on the Polish agri-food market and relate mainly to the provision of marketing, logistics, and IT services, as well as surveys and audits. Although, as a rule, the practice of charging such fees is legal, in certain specific cases it may constitute an abuse of law on the part of retail chains. Product suppliers should keep in mind that not all sale-related fees are justified, and some may be tantamount to an unfair use of contractual advantage.”

Originally published 6.12.2022 in Wiadomosci Handlowe