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26th June, 2020

Kósa aims to abolish brewers’ exclusivity deals

Parliament’s legislative committee yesterday approved a proposal from Fidesz vice-president Lajos Kósa to abolish the system in which beer and soft drink makers have exclusive rights to supply bars and restaurants.

He argued that such arrangements maintain the excessive power of large companies on the market by restricting competition and hindering domestic craft and small-scale producers and distributors.

Kósa wants to introduce a system that opens up opportunities for Hungarian beers and soft drinks, similar to the conditions in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

Not only large producers have an interest in maintaining this system, as pubs and restaurants receive extra payment for the exclusivity of some brands in their sales, which helps them, especially in the restart after the epidemic restrictions, Portfolio observes.

Large-scale beer producers have 97-98% of the Hungarian market, co-owner János Szuda of the Fehér Nyúl microbrewery told Portfolio.

Szuda recalled that the promise made by large companies to the Competition Authority to reduce their market share to 81% is still valid, but the reality is very far from that.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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