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Competition Committee Update

12/12/2018

Investigation on the automotive sector in Switzerland [1]
Following complaints from several dealers, the Swiss Federal Competition Commission has launched an investigation into AMAG Import S.A. which is the general importer in Switzerland of vehicles from the Volkswagen Group.

1° Facts
According to statements from different market participants, the AMAG’s discount and bonus system in the after-market sector forces AMAG authorised repairers and independent market participants to exclusively buy spare parts from AMAG, and consequently limits the sales from other suppliers.

Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that AMAG could have a dominant position on the spare parts market.

The AMAG bonus scheme could represent an improper restriction of market opportunities and/or an abusive practice of tied business.

2° Competition Commission statements
According to the Swiss Federal Competition Authority:

  • The obligation for an authorised repairer to link the supply of repair and maintenance services with the distribution of spare parts or with the distribution of new automotive vehicles is considered to be a serious infringement of competition rules.
  • The restriction for members of a distribution network of the ability to obtain from a manufacturer or a distributor original spare parts or spare parts of matching quality of their choice and to use them for repair and maintenance of automotive vehicles is also considered to be a serious infringement of competition rules.

The preliminary investigation revealed that illicit agreements related to competition may exist between AMAG and its dealers :

  • Agreements on the link between sales and after-sale services
  • Agreement on the restriction of the acquisition of spare parts

3° The proposed measures
In order to eliminate or prevent the restrictions of competition in question, the Swiss Federal Competition Authority proposes some measures to AMAG, and notably:

  • AMAG informs all its current and future dealers that they are free to sell or perform repair services on vehicles and to use spare parts from competing suppliers
  • AMAG informs its dealers that they are free to acquire original spare parts or spare parts of matching quality from the supplier of their choice and to use these spare parts for repair and maintenance services
  • AMAG amends its discount and bonus system in the aftermarket sector so that AMAG is not encouraging its purchasers by means of a premium to get supplies from it for all categories of spare parts.

UEIL Competition Committee
The next Competition Committee meeting will be held in Brussels on 23 January 2019.


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