“Given the note of illegality that came to us from AdC, Pingo Doce rejects the accusation made and will contestit, not failing to present its arguments in a process in which we are sure of our conduct and our daily work to bring to Portuguese consumers the best price and promotions opportunities, and the biggest discounts “, said an official source of the chain Jerónimo Martins supermarkets.
The same source added that “Pingo Doce takes on the public commitment to offer the best quality at the best prices, with great resilience, even in times of crisis “, like what we live currently.
“Pingo Doce’s own customers recognize this consistent effort and the proof of that is that about half of our total sales are made with products on sale,” said the source.
The three food distribution groups and the supplier of cakes, prepackaged breads and bread substitutes, accused of concertation prices charged to the consumer, were object of a note of illegality a day ago, after the investigation concluded there were signs of cartel practice.
“THE adoption of the note of illegality does not determine the final outcome of the investigation “, AdC, clarifying that companies will still be given an opportunity to be heard and to defend themselves.
Usually in a cartel, the distributors, not communicating directly between them, they use bilateral contacts with the supplier to promote or guarantee, through this, that all practice the same PVP in the retail market, a practice that competition terminology calls ‘hub-and-spoke’.
“The investigated behaviors lasted several years, having developed, at least, between 2004 and 2017”, explains the AdC, explaining that it is a practice that harms consumers by limiting their choice of price, since those three supermarket chains represent “more than half” of the large distribution market in Portugal.
THE AdC says it has “more than 10 investigations” underway in the sector of the large food-based distribution, some still subject to secrecy, and adds that the accusation announced today includes a “second set” of ‘hub-and-spoke’ cases under investigation, involving large distribution and suppliers.