ILLICIT PRACTICES IN THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
With adoption of the amendments to the Agriculture Act, Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (hereinafter: CPA), has assumed additional competences in relation to the newly imposed conduct rules in the food sector.
The said amendments established a new monitoring authority in the form of an Ombudsman for the relations in the food supply chain, who is also in charge of notification of any illicit practices to the CPA.
The Agriculture Act identifies acts that are considered illicit practices when they are enforced by undertakings that hold significant market power and in contrast with fair trade practices abuse the other contracting party. Illicit practices are particularly identified as, inter alia, the non-respect of payment deadlines or conditioning further purchases on extra payments, bonuses and rebates.
The CPA shall be responsible for the supervision of the implementation of provisions on illicit practices and can, in the minor offence procedure, impose a fine in the range of €6.000 to €18,000 on the undertaking concerned and a fine of up to €1,800 on the responsible officer of the undertaking. If the illicit practice also breaches the Competition Act (i.e. if the undertaking involved would hold the dominant position as it is defined in the Competition Act) the CPA can initiate antitrust proceedings, which can lead to antitrust fines.