On 6 February 2019, the Competition Council ("Council") published a report detailing the results of its enquiry of the distribution sector in Luxembourg.

On the basis of meetings with the sector and questionnaires sent to Luxembourg international suppliers, Luxembourg distributors, and importers/wholesalers, the Council examined, in particular, allegations of discriminatory treatment of Luxembourg distributors compared to their competitors from surrounding Member States.

The Luxembourg distribution sector generally considers that it is discriminated against in comparison to competitors from neighbouring Member States. However, in essence, based on information provided to it, the Council found no evidence of competition restrictions in agreements between firms at different levels of the production and distribution chain, the so-called "vertical restraints", in violation of competition law. Also, the enquiry did not reveal that retail prices in Luxembourg were systematically higher than in neighbouring countries.

In addition, the Council published its 2018 Annual Report, explaining its decision statistics and highlighting other work carried out by the Council over the last year. Regarding case statistics, the Council explains that, of twelve decisions rendered during 2018, seven concerned dismissals following the withdrawal of the initial complaint. The Council particularly mentioned its decision in case 2018-FO-01 – Webtaxi (see our Newsletter July 2018), its first individual exemption decision, a mechanism allowing it to take into account the beneficial effects for the consumer and society of an otherwise restrictive agreement.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.