Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has fined the Bulgarian subsidiaries of supermarket chains Kaufland and Billa a combined 815 000 leva for misleading advertising.
CPC said that it found, as part of separate investigations into each retailer, that both Kaufland Bulgaria and Billa Bulgaria misled customers by advertising discount prices for sunflower oil.
Both promotional offers were made in March, when prices of sunflower oil in Bulgaria soared in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
CPC said that neither retailer had the discounted sunflower oil for sale for the duration of the promotional offer and ruled that the retailers’ warnings of the limited supply of discounted goods was not a sufficient defense.
The promotional offers influenced customer behavior by directing them to shop in the respective chain, to the detriment of their direct competitors, the watchdog said.
CPC said that its fine was equal to 0.03 per cent of the retailers’ net sales revenue for 2021, well below the two per cent maximum amount it was allowed to impose for light infractions under the law.
The fines levied by the regulator were 565 052 leva on Kaufland Bulgaria and 250 089 on Billa Bulgaria. Both fines can be appealed at the Sofia district administrative court within a period of 14 days, CPC said.
(Photo: teteria sonnna, via Wikimedia Commons)
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