On August 24th 2021, the then Secretariat of Domestic Trade fined CMQ - Argentina's main beer producer and distributor - 150 million pesos, on the basis of an abuse of a dominant position of an exclusionary nature.
The fine was complemented with the imposition, pursuant to section 66, sub-section (c) of Act N° 27.442 on the Defence of Competition (LDC), of a set of corrective measures with the aim of restoring conditions of effective competition in the affected market and avoiding the repetition of the business practices that were sanctioned.
Among the measures stipulated, CMQ was ordered not to implement any type of formal or informal commercial agreement with points of sale -both On Premise and Off Premise- that has the purpose or effect of generating vertical restrictions on commercialisation channels with the aim of obtaining exclusive sales, making its products the first choice, eliminating competitors from menus, or limiting the display of competitors' products through exclusive shelf space agreements.
Following complaints and evidence provided by different competitors of CMQ, the CNDC started an investigation to establish whether the company was indeed failing to comply with the corrective measures imposed.
The CNDC concluded that the brewer was not complying with the corrective measures ordered and that the business practices for which it was sanctioned in mid-2021 had continued over time.
As a result of the above, the Secretary of Commerce decided, at the request of the CNDC, to impose a daily penalty of 11,467 mobile units, to be calculated from September 9th 2021 to April 6th 2022 inclusive - that means 209 working days. Therefore, the penalty amounts to 2,396,603 mobile units. It is worth noting that, according to the current quotation of the mobile unit, the amount of the fine represents AR$ 389,567,817.65.
However, as the fine is established in mobile units, a unit of account that is updated annually -its current rate is AR$ 162.55- the final amount of the fine will depend on the value of the mentioned unit on the date of payment.
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