Tesco loses coupon suit to Big C
- Published: 25/06/2013 at 06:30 PM
- Online news:
The Civil Court has ordered Tesco Lotus to pay 4 million baht compensation to its arch rival Big C Supercenter to settle a dispute over cash coupons issued two years ago.
A worker pushes trolleys at a Tesco Lotus hypermarket. (Reuters file photo)
Even so, Tesco welcomed the court's judgement in a press release, also indicating it may appeal the awarding of damages.
"Tesco Lotus is pleased with the today's (Tueday's) court ruling that the Competition Law was not violated," the statement said.
"We are a strong supporter of an effective competition policy that works in the consumer interest. Competition brings benefits to consumers through greater choice, lower prices, better quality and improved service."
However Big C on Wednesday strongly disputed Tesco's claim that the court ruled the Competition Act was not violated, saying that was "not a factual statement".
"The fact is, in the Civil Court Ruling, there was no mentioning whatsoever of whether Tesco did or did not violate the Trade Competition Act. The ruling in fact did not mention anything about the Trade Competition Act at all," Kudatara Nagaviroj, director of corporate affairs, said in a statement sent to the Bangkok Post.
"The Civil Court issued its verdict based on Civil Code. The authority to decide whether Tesco violates the Trade Competition Act lies with the Trade Competition Committee, which is in process of considering the case."
The suit stemmed from a campaign in 2011 by Ek-chai Distribution Centre, the local operator of Tesco Lotus hypermarkets, to allow shoppers using Carrefour's cash coupons to purchase goods in its stores. Carrefour was later taken over by Big C, which launched the lawsuit.
The Tesco statement also said it disagreed with the court's decision that the store's marketing activities caused harm to the plaintiffs. It noted the court ordered a payment of 4 million baht, although Big C had claimed damages of 416 million baht.
The Tesco Lotus statement said the company is considering an appeal, because it believed its campaign and others like it were both legal and beneficial to consumers.
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