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March 23, 2021

Unilever fined in Turkey over violation of ice cream competition laws

Consumer-goods giant Unilever has 60 days to contest a fine imposed in Turkey over violations of local competition rules.

By Dean Best

Unilever’s business unit in Turkey has been fined TRY480m (US$61.3m) by the country’s competition authority after ruling the consumer-goods giant abused its dominant position in ice cream to the detriment of local producers.

In coming to its decision, the Turkish Competition Authority concluded Unilever offered illegal discounts on ice creams through local resellers, thereby restricting competition and leading to abuse of its dominant status in the market.

Unilever was also fined for not allocating sufficient point-of-sale capacity to rival manufacturers in sales locations of 100 square meters or smaller under an exclusivity agreement which requires 30% of the freezer space to be put aside for other competing brands.

The company has 60 days to respond to the decision, taken on Monday 22 March, otherwise legal court proceedings will be initiated, the Turkish Competition Authority said in a statement.

“We strictly comply with all laws and regulations wherever we operate, including in Turkey, and intend to appeal against this decision by the Competition Board,” a Unilever spokesperson said.

The FMCG major sells its Magnum and Cornetto brands in Turkey, along with the Algida line, according to its website. Back in 2017, Unilever was also hit with a fine by competition authorities in Italy over similar violations.

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