Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Study on territorial supply constraints in the EU retail sector

Study on territorial supply constraints in the EU retail sector
Published on: 01/03/2019 Last update: 01/03/2019
Deadline: 26/04/2019
This call for tender is for a study that will look into the gap left by competition rules, which because of their overall structure (prohibition of abusive unilateral behaviour and anti-competitive agreements) do not catch instructions given by non-dominant, vertically integrated manufacturers to their national subsidiaries and/or to wholesalers through which they distribute their products. It will build on the initial analysis contained in the Staff Working Document accompanying the Retail Communication and the evidence collected by the Commission (including the 'Retail Operations' study).

The purpose of this study is to form part of the fact-finding, announced in the Retail Communication, on the prevalence, reasons for, and effects of such practices on the Single Market. The study should provide data and information on the scale and nature of territorial supply constraints. Results will indicate:

  • categories of products in the supply chains of which territorial supply constraints (TSCs) are most prevalent
  • the extent to which they are present in those categories
  • the types of TSCs that are used most often
  • the geographical scope of the practices

The study also aims to explain the possible reasons for suppliers to limit the way their products are distributed. 

An important element of the study will concern measuring the effects of TSCs, i.e. their impact on the Single Market, in particular on consumers and on businesses (along the supply chains, including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers). This aspect could take into account the parallel trade opportunities currently exploited and their potential. It could also be approached from a counterfactual perspective, through assessing possible effects on the market of a situation where TSCs would not be present - in quantitative and qualitative terms.

The study will also take into account the consumer perspective. The aspect of consumer preferences, expectations, purchasing decisions and their behaviour will need to complement the picture.

Results of the study will guide whether further action may be needed and if yes, what this action should be.

If you are interested in this call you can access the tender documents on the Commission-wide eTendering platform.

The documents will always be visible and downloadable but if you ‘register’ to the call by adding your email address and a password, you will be able to ask questions and be automatically informed about any changes that may be published (such as additional documents or answers to questions).

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