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Competition Act exemptions for grocery supply chains

Subject: Coronavirus emergency legislation; Competition law

The Competition Act 1998 (Groceries) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020 (2020 No. 369) was made on 27th March 2020. This Order excludes from the Chapter I prohibition in the Competition Act 1998 agreements between groceries chain suppliers and agreements between logistic service providers, intended to address the effects or likely effects of coronavirus on the supply of groceries to consumers in the UK.


The Chapter I prohibition precludes agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which may affect trade within the UK and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the UK. Where there are exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy for doing so, the Secretary of State may exclude an agreement or an agreement of a particular description from the Chapter I prohibition.


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