On May 13th 2013 the Austrian Cartel Court imposes, upon the request of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, a 20.8 million EUR fine on the retailer REWE. Between 2007 and 2012 the grocer had agreements with suppliers on the final selling prices and other items. The decision has not yet become final.
BWB and REWE are still working on guidelines which should give legal certainty for future. In a separate judicial process the guidelines will be fixed as commitments at the Austrian Cartel Court.
The Federal Competition Authority (BWB) has done a dawn raid for several days in the REWE International headquarters (Wiener Neudorf) in February 2012. The suspicion: Vertical agreements with items of horizontal arrangements on final selling prices and promotion periods between REWE and suppliers, particularly in the beer and dairy-sector.
After intensive investigations of the Austrian Competition Authority the Cartel Court followed the application that REWE has to pay a fine of 20.8 million EUR.
During the judicial procedure REWE admitted the allegations of BWB. The agreements lasted from 2007 till the date of the dawn raid. The decision has not yet become final.
Guidelines for producers and retailers
Additionally BWB is establishing guidelines to encompass the relationship between suppliers and food retailers and foresee to avoid situations that could antitrust price fixings in general. This working paper is only available in german. Comments are asked till August 1st.