Following the reservations of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, the British manufacturer of bicycles – Trek changed the existing terms of contracts with its contractors. According to the new rules, it will not limit the area and distribution channels.
This manufacturer’s bikes are known on the international market and include brands such as: Elektra, Trek and Bontrager accessories. In Poland, they are sold by about 80 distributors who, before the intervention of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, could only hand over the bikes to customers at a stationary point of sale, also when the purchase was made online. The above regulations resulted in a de facto division of the market between distributors by limiting the dealers’ area of activity to the immediate vicinity, as consumers were not willing to travel long distances in order to pick up a bicycle directly. In addition, distributors could sell bikes only in the country and could not sell goods via online platforms, e.g. Allegro.
“Pursuant to the antitrust law, conduct consisting in limiting the territory and place of sale of goods may be regarded as an agreement restricting competition. The division of the market belongs to one of the categories of practices for which there is a sanction of up to 10%. trader turnover. In exceptional cases, we decide to waive the penalty. This is exactly what happened in the case of the British bicycle manufacturer Trek, whose constructive attitude allowed for a quick restoration of competition and termination of the proceedings, to the benefit of consumers and the market”, explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
After the intervention of the President of the Office, the entrepreneur changed the contracts, eliminating the provisions that were inconsistent with the antitrust law. The European Union strives to develop a single market by removing all kinds of barriers, including in the field of cross-border sales and channels such as the Internet. The lack of barriers to online trade allows consumers to familiarize themselves with the wide offer and choose the most suitable product for them.