Commercial catering equipment sector: investigation into anti-competitive practices
The CMA investigated suspected breaches of competition law relating to vertical arrangements between certain suppliers and resellers in the commercial catering equipment sector under Chapter I of the CA98 and Article 101 TFEU.
Case reference: CE/9856-14
|10 June 2016||Publication of non-confidential version of infringement decision|
|24 May 2016||Investigation settled, final infringement decision issued to party and warning letters issued to a number of suppliers and resellers|
|May 2016||Party offered to settle investigation with CMA|
|28 January 2016||Statement of objections issued to a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration products|
|June 2015||Decision taken to continue with the investigation (further update by the end of January 2016)|
|February to June 2015||Further investigation including further analysis and potential further information requests and stakeholder meetings|
|February 2015||Decision on whether to proceed with investigation or to close the investigation|
|August 2014 to January 2015||Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses|
|August 2014 to January 2015||CMA analysis and review of parties’ responses to information requests|
|August 2014 to January 2015||Potential state of play meetings with parties under investigation|
|28 August 2014||Investigation opened|
The following changes have been made to the case timetable since it was first published in August 2014:
|Date of change||Reason for change||Change made to timetable|
|17 December 2014||Additional time needed to analyse and review responses to information requests||Estimated timing of decision on whether to proceed with investigation or to close the investigation put back by around 1 month|
Follow-up compliance work
21 June 2016: The CMA has published advice to help suppliers and retailers across all sectors understand the practices that are regarded as resale price maintenance (RPM), and what to do if they are, or may have been, involved in RPM or similar practices.
The CMA has written an open letter to businesses alerting them that if suppliers restrict their retailers’ prices that can break the law. The CMA’s open letter is accompanied by an at-a-glance guide to the law and case studies with lessons from the CMA’s catering equipment and bathroom fittings enforcement cases.
Press release: CMA guides businesses on online competition law (21.6.16)
Non-confidential infringement decision
10 June 2016: The CMA has published a non-confidential version of the decision in this case.
- Non-confidential decision (PDF, 2.3Mb) (10.6.16)
Settlement and infringement decision
24 May 2016: The CMA issued a decision finding that ITW Limited infringed competition law and imposed a fine of £2,298,820. ITW Limited admitted engaging in online resale price maintenance in relation to the supply of commercial catering equipment in the UK. The initial fine was reduced by 10% for ITW setting up a comprehensive programme to train its staff in compliance with competition law and a further 20% to reflect savings due to ITW’s admission and co-operation with the CMA under a settlement agreement.
The CMA has sent warning letters to 20 other suppliers and dealers of commercial catering equipment which it suspects may have engaged in similar practices regarding internet sales. Warning letters have been sent to dealers of commercial catering equipment that may have agreed to apply supplier’s minimum advertising price policies. A warning letter does not amount to a finding as to whether or not a company has infringed competition law.
- Press release: Fridge supplier fined £2.2 million for restricting online discounts (24.5.16)
Statement of Objections
28 January 2016: The CMA issued a statement of objections alleging that a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration products breached competition law.
- Press release: Statements of objections issued to fridge and bathroom suppliers (28.1.16)
On 28 August 2014, the CMA launched an investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the commercial catering equipment sector. The investigation was under Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The CMA issued an infringement decision on 24 May 2016 to a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration products.
Further detail of the CMA’s procedures in Competition Act 1998 cases is available here: CMA’s Procedures in Competition Act cases.
Assistant project director
Carissa Baker (020 3738 6648, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Susan Oxley (020 3738 6365, email@example.com)
Senior responsible officer
Ann Pope (020 3738 6786, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: 17 December 2014
Updated: 10 June 2016
Opened: 28 August 2014
Closed: 24 May 2016
- Non-confidential decision published.
- Settlement and infringement decision announced.
- Statement of objections issued and timetable updated.
- Timetable updated.
- Timetable and contacts updated.
- Case timetable updated.