Bulgaria’s competition watchdog fines supermarket chain Fantastico 162 300 leva

Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said that it has fined one of the companies operating the Sofia-based supermarket chain Fantastico 162 300 leva (about 83 000 euro), or 0.1 per cent of its net revenue for 2018, for misleading advertising.

CPC said that it conducted two separate investigations – one that resulted from a complaint by rival retailer Lidl and another unprompted probe launched by the regulator itself.

Lidl complained about a “buy one, get one free” promotional campaign run by Fantastico, but its arguments were rejected by the regulator, which said that such campaigns were legitimate under Bulgarian law and widely employed by retailers.

By clearly marking the discount offered on each individual product, Fantastico met the legal obligations and its conduct was not considered unfair trade practice, CPC said.

In the second investigation, however, the watchdog ruled that Fantastico did not clearly communicate to consumers that participation in a prize draw was contingent on spending a minimum amount of 25 leva. Although terms and conditions were available on the retailers website, this minimum spend requirement was not included in other promotional materials, CPC said.

The regulator did not object to the prize draw itself because the prizes offered by Fantastico did not exceed the value limit imposed by law – up to 100 times the cost of participation.

The draw was advertised in Fantastico stores operated by five different companies, but only one of the companies, Van Holding, was listed as the organiser and was the only one fined by the regulator.

The fine can be appealed within a period of 14 days at the Supreme Administrative Court, CPC said.

(Photo: Vera Reis/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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