If it is conveyed through a forum that the retail prices should be unified as much as possible, that mutual price competition should be avoided, and that a multitude of suppliers are requested to control and cut off supplies of goods to non-cooperative low price competitors, it can be deemed that the parties have agreed to refrain from price competition between each other and have engaged in concerted action prohibited by the Fair Trade Law(Taiwan)

Sean Liu
According to the facts underlying the 104-Su-1799 Decision of March 8, 2016 rendered by the Taipei High Administrative Court, the Fair Trade Commission rendered the original disposition in which the Appellants, such as Company A and six other enterprises, were fined NT$3 million for their concerted action in violation of Article 14, Paragraph 1 of the Fair Trade Law. Dissatisfied, the Company A brought this administrative action.
According to the court’s findings in this case, Company A and others received a meeting notice from the Association of Pet Shops in Tainan City and sent representatives to attend the forum, in which Company A and other operators expressed their wish to stabilize the prices of pet foods and pet supplies in Tainan City, unify retail prices as much as possible, refrain from price competition between each other, and to have upstream suppliers control and cut off supplies to non-cooperative retailers. It was sufficient to conclude that these operators agreed not to engage in price competition with each other. In addition, Company A and the other sanctioned companies held 17.34% of the pet food and pet supply market in Tainan City, not to mention that Company A was a nationwide chain store operator. In addition, many major pet food suppliers successively requested other retail operators to cooperate with a price hike with supplies to certain retailers cut off by the suppliers after the meeting. This shows that market competition of pet foods and pet supplies in Tainan City was actually and substantively impaired. Since it was generally determined that the original disposition which concluded that concerted action was constituted was not illegal, a decision was rendered against Company A and the other companies. The Supreme Court also subsequently upheld the original decision.