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Auchan, Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and supplier fined €5.6m



Auchan, Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and supplier fined €5.6m

The Antitrust Authority (AdC) has fined supermarket chains Auchan, Modelo Continente and Pingo Doce, as well as joint alcoholic beverage supplier Active Brands/Gestvinus, €5.6 million for participating in a price-fixing scheme.

The AdC statement states that “Sanctioned three supermarket chains – Auchan, Modelo Continente and Pingo Doce, as well as the joint alcohol supplier Active Brands / Gestvinus and the person in charge of this company for participating in the consumer selling price (PVP) scheme for products from this supplier”.

According to the same note, “an AdC investigation found that participating distribution companies ensured retail price equalization in their supermarkets through contacts established through a common supplier without the need to communicate directly with each other”the regulator said.

“This practice eliminates competition by depriving consumers of the opportunity to choose better prices, but providing a higher level of profitability for the entire distribution chain, including supply chains and supermarkets.”emphasized AdC.

According to the competition, “a fine of 5,665,178 euros was imposed for the present violation”and according to published data, Ative Brands was fined 2.3 million euros, Modelo Continente – 1.4 million euros, Pingo Doce – 1.2 million euros, Auchan – 660 thousand euros, and the responsible person – 5,178 Euro.

AdC recalled that in November 2020 “Issued a Nota de Ilicitude (or indictment) in this case, subsequently enabling all companies and persons responsible to exercise their rights of hearing and defense, which was duly taken into account in the final judgment.”.

Thus, in this case, the competition “We determined that this practice lasted for more than eight years – from 2009 to 2017 – and was aimed at various products from the supplier, such as wines, spirits and liquors / snacks. Major distributor lawsuits heard between 2020 and 2022 included sanctions against six supermarket chains and nine suppliers for anti-competitive “stars and hubs” practices.remembered.

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The AdC also recalled that the fines it imposes “is determined by the turnover of sanctioned companies in the affected markets over the years of practice”be the one “according to the Competition Law, fines cannot exceed 10% of the company’s turnover in the year before the decision on sanctions and 10% of the annual remuneration received in the last year of the violation, in the case of individuals”.

By setting these penalties, “AdC takes into account the severity and duration of the infringement, the extent to which companies are involved in the infringement, the economic situation of companies, among other circumstances, in line with international best practice”according to the same note.

Pingo Doce announces it will appeal to the court

Pingo Doce believes that the Competition Authority’s (AdC) fine is “unfair and undeserved” and ensures that “will be challenged in court”according to an official source, in response to Lusa.

“Pingo Doce confirms that it has received another fine decision from the Antimonopoly Office within the previous ones”indicated in the company, adding that “This decision is also unfair and undeserved and therefore, like the previous ones, it will be challenged in the courts in order to restore the truth of the facts”.

“Nothing will stop Pingo Doce from continuing to offer the Portuguese the biggest discounts, best prices and promotional opportunities as it has always done.”stressed the same source.

Auchan ‘completely refutes’ the practice

Auchan said it “completely refutes the actions attributed to it by the Competition Authority” (AdC), which again fined the supermarket chain, adding that it would “take legal action” against the decision.

“Auchan completely refutes the practice attributed to it by the antimonopoly authority in the Final decision as part of the administrative offense process, and will appeal the decision in court, naturally, exercising the rights provided for by the Competition Law,” the company said. in a note sent to Lusa.

The group also ensured that “all training and supervision of its employees are provided internally to avoid any behavior that could lead to a violation of the rules of competition.”

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DHL with ‘great difficulty’ invests $50 million in Lisbon



DHL with 'great difficulty' invests $50 million in Lisbon

Portugal could be a “much bigger gateway” for DHL’s business than it is today, said Dinheiro Vivo, CEO of DHL Express John Pearson, on the sidelines of the 2022 Trade Growth Atlas launch in Brussels, noting that there are business opportunities in the country’s largest distribution and logistics group in the world. However, the group has been trying “for years” to set up a new logistics terminal in Lisbon, but to no avail.

“We have been trying for many years with the ANA and the airport administration to create a new infrastructure, I think we are close to this. Our planes,” he emphasizes. DHL has grown “very fast” and has a “very healthy business with a very high market share” in Portugal, with good prospects “especially in the consumer segment”, which Pearson said could create “more terminals and jobs”.

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Iran cut off internet access… Elon Musk will give connection



Irão cortou o acesso à Internet... Elon Musk vai dar conectividade

As we reported hereThere was a massive internet outage in Iran yesterday during a series of mass protests against the government.

After this action, Elon Musk posted a message on the social network Twitter, from which it follows that he is already activating his Starlink satellite network to allow Internet access in this country.

Elon Musk: Outfit [rede] Starlink for Internet access for Iranians

Iranians are facing massive internet shutdowns due to anti-government protests. Loss of connectivity, preventing access to platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp, makes it difficult to organize demonstrations as well as share information about government crackdowns.

Elon Musk wasted no time and was quick to point out on Twitter that he was "helping [rede] Starlink...", in response to another message also posted on the social network Twitter by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in which he revealed that the White House had given permission for Internet companies to provide their services to Iran.

Iran cut off internet access... Elon Musk will give connection

He recalls that the protests in Iran began on Friday last week after it became known about the death of 22-year-old Masha Amini after being detained by the Vice Police for wearing a veil placed in a way that agents considered wrong.

State television IRIB reported 26 deaths in clashes with police. The Iranian government has severely restricted internet access, and in recent days, mobile networks have been switched off from 9pm to morning.

On Thursday, the US sanctioned the Vice Police for the death of a young woman and seven security sector leaders for cracking down on demonstrations.

It should also be noted thatIranian citizens are banned from accessing Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube, despite the fact that many bypass these restrictions through a VPN.

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“The script is serious and should be taken seriously”



"The script is serious and should be taken seriously"

The latest data from Eurostat is disappointing for Portugal: last year, almost a quarter of self-employed workers in the European Union were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. In Portugal they are third. Only Romania looks worse in the picture. “At the national level, in 2021, Romania, Portugal and Estonia had the highest proportion of self-employed workers at risk of poverty and social exclusion (70.8%, 32.4% and 32.2%),” reported the European Statistical Office , revealing the unreliability of working with green receipts and without a contract in the country. On average across EU countries, the situation has also deteriorated, but not as much. According to published data, compared to 2020 and in the analysis of the categories “unemployed”, “pensioners”, “employed” and “independent workers”, the latter was the only one in which the worsening of the poverty situation was recorded, from 22.6% to 23. 6%. By contrast, self-employment poverty improved in 11 countries, with Ireland and Hungary recording the largest declines between 2020 and 2021 (-3.2 and -3.7 percentage points, respectively).

For Enrique Tomé, an analyst at XTB, the data “reflects the volatile state of the labor market in Portugal,” he says, explaining that for companies “hiring new contract workers is becoming too expensive, especially for SMEs, leading many companies to use green slips as a alternatives.” And he adds: “However, conditions for the worker are not the best, because he is too exposed to the prevailing economic conditions and has less support in the event of dismissal.”

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So the analyst heard Sunrise has no doubt: “This scenario is serious and should be taken seriously because if economic conditions worsen, the labor market will naturally suffer and could create a delicate situation.”

To reverse this trend, several things can be done, says Enrique Tome. “We need to create conditions to protect the self-employed, and also support companies so that they feel motivated to hire new contract workers – the alternative could be to reduce the costs that companies have to insure.”

However, it must be taken into account that these Eurostat data refer to 2021. And yet they are not very encouraging, as they already show a deterioration compared to 2020. How will the balance of this year and next? “It is possible that the next few years will certainly be difficult for all economies, given that economic forecasts indicate a possible slowdown in economic activity, which could cause periods of deep recession in the most vulnerable economies, such as Portugal,” the analyst replies. XTB.

Risk? Portugal takes root at the tail of Europe. “This possible scenario further exacerbates the difference between the largest and most fragile economies,” warns Enrique Tome, adding that despite “the European Commission’s initial projections that Portugal would be the eurozone country with the highest growth rate in terms of GDP, the truth is that the country continues to grow at a very modest pace, and the rate of growth has actually slowed down over the past few years.”

Looking at the worst-case scenario, namely a recession, “Portuguese’s economy is likely to be hit hard as economic activity remains far below expectations and the country has very high debt compared to what it produces (GDP) and at this point more the issue of the pandemic has become more acute,” the analyst warns.

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When asked about the consequences of these Eurostat data, the specialist has no doubts: “We may again witness periods of greater austerity in the country if a recession scenario is realized in Portugal”, but so far “not everyone is in red flags have been raised, but at the same time, we cannot rule out such a possibility.”

It is true, continues Enrique Tomé, that the Portuguese economy is “mired in debt and inflation remains high, which should affect economic activity and could cause periods of economic downturn (recession)”.

And it’s also important to keep in mind that these figures from the European Statistical Office on poverty are not unexpected news. Eurostat has already warned that the pandemic has lifted Portugal from 13th to 8th place in the list of European countries at increased risk of poverty or social exclusion.

It is clear to the analyst that the country “suffers from a big problem – it does not pay enough attention to the private sector, which creates wealth.” But not only that. “This does not create the necessary conditions for the growth of the private sector and contributes to instability in some sectors, which leads to many highly skilled workers choosing to emigrate.”

On the other hand, he argues, “a high tax burden also discourages investment from many companies and does not contribute to the growth of the business structure at all.” These, in his opinion, are “two factors that have not been given due attention in recent years, but which are necessary for the national economy to start growing at an attractive pace.”

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Getting poorer?

According to Eurostat, in absolute terms, there are 2.312 million Portuguese people on the verge of poverty in 2021, an increase of 256,000 compared to 2020. You have to go back to 2017 to find a higher figure. As the eighth poorest country in the EU, Portugal has dropped five places in risk of poverty or social exclusion compared to 2020.

And with rising food and energy prices, the situation tends to worsen. Portugal’s European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) recently said that the government’s anti-inflation support measures are “not the ideal answer”, although it is “important” that the executive has “taken over”. “I imagine and feel that this is not a perfect answer. We are a poor country and we need to know how to deal with our limitations,” he said. Lusa President of EAPN Portugal Father Jardim Moreira.

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