The Supreme Court prohibits a brewers’ association from compiling sector statistics on price and purchase volume

20 July 2009

The court ruling upholds a previous decision by the former Competition Defence Tribunal which considered that the compiling and exchange of this information could be considered a collusive practice.

In its decision dated March 24, 2009 the Supreme Court ruled on the appeal filed by the Brewers Association against the former Competition Defence Tribunal decision to prohibit the compilation of statistical reports on pricing in the sector based on the submission of information by members of the sector organization.

The Supreme Court confirms the point of view held by the Competition Tribunal, who determined that the “maximum transparency of the whole of the information exchanged” restricted the autonomy of company decisions and could contribute to consolidating an oligopoly and reinforcing the barriers to entering the national beer market. The high court likewise determined that this practice allows participating companies to anticipate the conduct of other companies since it provides a strong motivation to align and coordinate their behaviour in the market.

Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that this action constituted a collusive practice since it has the effect of restricting competition as per that set forth in Section 1 of Law 16/1989, dated July 17 on Defence of Competition.

For further information please contact Eric Jordi Cubells: ejordi@mmmm.es