Rewe has been fined by the Czech anti-trust authority over the German retailer’s failure to comply with conditions laid down regarding its acquisition of Tengelmann’s Plus discount stores in 2008.
Rewe struck a deal to buy the 146 Plus store chain in the Czech Republic from Tengelmann in March 2008 and subsequently merged the business with its own discount chain, Penny.
The deal, however, faced a domestic anti-trust investigation after the EU passed control of the probe back to local authorities. Rewe, which also runs its Delvita supermarket chain in the Czech Republic alongside a chain of Billa stores, was warned the deal would “significantly affect competition” in parts of the country.
As a result, Rewe proposed the sale of four stores in the regions concerned within one year of the decision being issued, which the Czech anti-trust office, UOHS, said would answer competition concerns and clear the merger.
In a notice this week, however, the UOHS said Rewe had applied for a postponement of the deadline, and a reassessment, several times. The UOHS said it “partially adjusted” the commitments, but that they were never implemented.
“In January 2013, the Office issued a first instance decision in which it concluded that Rewe had not made sufficient efforts to their implementation,” the UOHS said in its notice. “The obligation laid down in the decision on the Rewe/Plus-Discount merger was therefore not fulfilled.”
As a result, the UOHS imposed a fine of CZK24m (US$1.2m), taking into account the turnover of the undertaking in the regions concerned.