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Competition commission closes retail inquiry

Coop shop


The Swiss Competition Commission has ended an inquiry into Switzerland's two largest retail groups Migros and Coop, and two distributors, Syntrade and EG Dritte Kraft.

The commission announced that it has found no evidence of cartel activity between the four businesses.

The investigation had been looking at whether distribution of branded food products was affected by cartel-style practises. The first indications were that there was an agreement in the area of expenses that producers paid to retailers to secure space on the shop floor and publicity for their products.

After investigation the commission announced that it could not confirm the existence of anti-competitive agreements.

It also said that the Swiss market, like others in Europe, is characterised by a strong concentration of companies in the food distribution sector.

On this matter, the commission said that often the buying power of distributors outweighs the commercial strength of manufacturers. It therefore reserved the right to intervene in this field, with regard to this particular problem, at some point in the future.

swissinfo with agencies