XXXLutz abandons its demand for retroactive adjustment of purchase conditions
After the Bundeskartellamt's intervention the furniture chain XXXLutz will not ask its suppliers to retroactively adjust their purchase conditions after a recently cleared merger.
On 9 November 2017 the Bundeskartellamt cleared the merger between XXXLutz and the furniture company Möbel Buhl GmbH & Co. KG. After the merger XXXLutz asked Möbel Buhl's suppliers to adjust their purchase conditions. It requested, among other things, that the conditions granted to XXXLutz be applied retrospectively from 1 January 2017 to all the sales effected by the Möbel Buhl furniture stores. To this effect XXXLutz demanded a credit for all differences in price and conditions as of that date.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt:
"We have informed the company in writing that based on the information available we see no objective justification for demanding these kind of credits for the past. To the extent that the suppliers comply without objection with these demands, it could be a sign that they are dependent on XXXLutz. There is no indication that the furniture retailer provided services in the period before the merger that would justify such demands. XXXLutz has since assured the Bundeskartellamt that it will abandon its demands for adjusted purchase conditions for the period before the merger was cleared."
In a case concerning the food retail sector, the Bundeskartellamt had already decided in 2014 that the readjusted purchase conditions which EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co. KG demanded from its suppliers after acquiring the Plus stores in 2009 were abusive (see Press Release of 3 July 2014). The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has reversed the authority's decision and the case is now pending at the Federal Court of Justice.