Category Management Agreements Competition Law
Despite the concerns expressed in the interim findings regarding the management of the category, the Cc has not proposed any corrective action in this regard. It remains to be seen whether this will also be the case when the final report is published. Despite this, the fact that the provisional conclusions have taken into account category management agreements indicates that competition authorities will conduct a thorough review of these agreements in the future. 1.2. Severe restrictions. The list of fundamental clauses of the regulation has not been substantially changed; However, the new rules on the nature of restrictions considered illegal under EU competition law have made several notable changes. The provisional findings, while acknowledging that category management can directly benefit consumers and, from a retailer`s perspective, result in higher overall sales for this category, highlight a number of concerns that may arise regardless of the form of category management: the CC notes that some of the negative consequences that the category management process could have can be affected. to soften. , z.B.
by introducing effective “information barriers” between a supplier`s category management and its planning and negotiation services. In addition, the CC considers that it is unlikely that retailers will organize their category management in such a way that agreements are reached between suppliers and that they would likely attempt to validate the information they receive from suppliers. The provisional findings define “category management” as an exchange of information between a retailer and a supplier with the overall objective of improving sales or performance in a category of products sold by the retailer, indicating that it could cover sales volumes and trends, demographics, profiles and consumer preferences. They indicate that the retailer can be advised by a supplier on the range of products displayed, the placement and size of product screens, pricing, promotion, improvement of the supply chain, inventory management or improved customer experience. The provisional findings also distinguish the “captain category,” which considers that full liability for a given product category is transferred to only one supplier of other forms of category management. 1. Safe Harbour category exemption. Like the existing category exemption rules, the new regulation exempts certain types of vertical agreements (i.e. mainly agreements between non-competitors operating at different levels of the supply chain) from being considered anti-competitive agreements contrary to EU competition law.