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BANGKOK, Thailand - Global supermarket retailers Tesco, based in the UK, and Carrefour, based in France, are among a group of retailers being accused of indulging in unfair trade practices in Thailand, according to an inquiry panel established by the Trade Competition Committee, the Bangkok Post reports.
Newin Chidchob, the deputy commerce minister who chaired the inquiry sub-committee, said the sub-committee spent about three months examining suppliers' complaints about Tesco Lotus, Carrefour, Big C and Makro.
It found that the four had violated the Trade Competition Law by applying unfair practices that had damaged other traders. Unfair practices are defined as: Requests for entry or listing fees, unilateral contract cancellations, passing advertising and marketing expenses on to suppliers, requesting premium goods and discounts for special events such as anniversaries, and producing house-brand goods with packaging similar to that of the suppliers' goods but at lower prices.
Newin said the sub-committee's findings would be sent to the Trade Competition Committee next month. If it agreed, a new investigative commitee with experts from all fields would be established to examine the case further. The sub-committee will recommend standards be set, stipulating precisely what retailers can and cannot do.
"For example, discount stores can request discounts from suppliers for special events, but the discounts must be passed on to customers as well. Such a practice is allowed," Newin said.