Ice Cream Freezer Agreement

54 It follows that, as the Tribunal stated in letter 84 of the contested judgment, the contractual restrictions imposed on retailers must be examined not only formally from a legal point of view, but also taking into account the particular economic context in which distribution agreements operate. 87 In challenging this analysis, HB is in fact seeking to challenge the Tribunal`s assessment of the facts. Moreover, HB does not argue that this Court has distorted the facts or evidence relating to the characteristics of agreements reached by suppliers other than HB. 91 Finally, the Tribunal explained that the weakness of the market share held by HB`s competitors was due, at least in part, to the practice of Hb selection of freezers to distributors, with an exclusivity clause, when it found that Mars` market share had declined, along with those of Valley and Leadmore , in the years leading up to the contested decision. Furthermore, HB does not indicate that the Tribunal erred in law by failing to examine in detail the causal link between the exclusivity clause and the small market share held by HB`s competitors, as well as other possible factors that were not specified by HB, which may explain the small size of this market share. `… in view of the specifics of the product concerned and the economic context of this case, the Commission has rightly observed that the network of HB distribution agreements, as well as the provision of „free” freezing cabinets, has a significant deterrent effect on retailers with regard to the installation of a cabinet or other manufacturer and is de facto used as a link to points of sale that have only HB, which have only HB freezing points, or 40% of the outlets on the market in question. While it is theoretically possible for retailers with only an HB freezer to sell ice creams from other manufacturers, the exclusivity clause effectively restricts retailers` commercial freedom to choose the products they wish to sell in their outlets. 145 With respect to the fact that HB ordered the rental of freezing cabinets from retailers in Northern Ireland, the Commission argues, first, that at no point in the proceedings did HB dispute the information on this practice set out in the 127th recital of the contested decision.