Call for supermarkets to be regulated

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February 25, 2008

Members of the European Parliament (EP) have signed a written declaration on investigating and remedying the abuse of power by large supermarkets operating in the EU. The declaration requests the European Commission to propose appropriate measures, including regulation, to protect consumers, workers and producers from any abuse of dominant position or negative impacts identified in the course of this investigation. The written declaration calls upon the European Commission's DG Competition to investigate the impacts that concentration of the EU supermarket sector is having on small businesses, suppliers, workers and consumers and, in particular, to assess any abuses of buying power which may follow from such concentration. MEPs point out that throughout the EU, retailing is increasingly dominated by a small number of supermarket chains and these retailers are fast-becoming ‘gatekeepers’, controlling farmers’ and other suppliers’ only real access to EU consumers. MEPs also say such squeezes on suppliers have negative knock-on effects on both quality of employment and environmental protection and consumers potentially face a loss in diversity of products, the cultural heritage and retail outlets. The EP President officially announced the written declaration adopted when 439 MEP’s signed the declaration.