Small but without limits

Protection of small enterprises against abuse of dominant position[SS2]

Abuse of dominant potection

Protection of small enterprises against abuse of dominant position[SS2]

As it already exists in the surrounding countries, a law was voted on April 4, which on the one hand will sanction abuses of power by (larger) companies against others (the smaller ones as a rule) (so from 1 June 2020) and will be able to declare unlawful contractual conditions null and void. ( from 01.12.2020 ).

This initiative arose as a result of the difficulties of the agricultural sector against the large distribution companies, parts suppliers, subcontracting contracts.

The first concerns abuse of the position of economic dependence.

This may involve refusing to sell or buy, or directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices.

The application of unequal conditions towards economic partners, such as making the agreement dependent on additional services that are not related to the subject of the agreement, is also regarded as prohibited.

The Competition Authority can also be involved and infringements can be sanctioned with fines of 10% of the turnover.

It is still future legislation but it will soon be felt. Some existing agreements are of an ongoing nature. So it is high time to start asking yourself questions about this.

The legal regulation has a mandatory character and some provisions are even of a public order, which is not unimportant in contracts with foreign companies that declare their legislation applicable to the contracts.

These arrangements will be developed in more detail in the coming months. In the meantime, concrete situations can of course be submitted to the office (eg review of existing contractual conditions).

[1] Court of Cassation 9.10.2020, RW 2020-21, n' 24, pag. 944

[2] Court of Appeal Brussels, 29.2.2019, ompetitio, 2019, pg. 238.

February 06, 2024, 02:15 p.m.