Karcher targeted by Competition authorities for price manipulation

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, initiated antitrust proceedings against Karcher; it suspects that for many years it has imposed on distributors the retail selling price of this brand’s cleaning equipment and systems, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) informed on Monday.

As noted by the office, the proceedings are conducted against a company from the capital group operating in Poland – Karcher sp.z o.o. According to UOKiK, the collected evidence shows that from the beginning of the activity in Poland, i.e. from the end of the 1990s, the entrepreneur, in agreement with dealers, could determine the retail prices of his products.

“Until 2005, an entrepreneur could impose product prices on his sales networks, both in stationary sales and on the Internet. After 2005, this practice consisted primarily in determining prices on internet platforms” – said Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK, quoted in the information.

UOKiK explained that the written contracts concluded by Karcher with distributors and the general terms and conditions of commercial cooperation included, inter alia, provisions under which distributors had the right to determine the prices of products only on the terms established by Karcher. This means that buyers of Karcher brand products could not buy them cheaper than at prices imposed from above.

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