Funchal City Council refutes Lidl “lies”

Controversy continues

Funchal City Council refutes Lidl “lies” 1

The Funchal City Council accused the JPP party (“Together for the People) of spreading “lies” about the LIDL process, sending an extensive clarification to the media. Given the interest of the case, it is replicated in full here. CMF says:

“1- JPP publicly announced during the month of October of this year that it intended to have access to all documents relating to the licensing of the various stores of the company LIDL & Company, in the city of Funchal.

2- Aware of this reality, on 11/02/2023, the company LIDL, through the law firm ABREU ADVOGADOS, filed a request with the Funchal Chamber, where it expressly and clearly requested this authority not to provide the information intended by JPP, under several arguments, which we quote below:

“… The classification of this information is justified by the danger that its disclosure represents for the establishment of effective competition between economic operators in the food and non-food retail sector.

Now, commercial secrets aim to prevent confidential information from being taken advantage of and competition rules being distorted, preventing certain companies from informing the Administration of secrets held by other companies, namely, commercial strategies, expansion or development of their respective businesses.”

Funchal City Council refutes Lidl “lies” 3

3- In other words, it was LIDL that came to ask the Funchal City Council not to provide JPP with the information requested by the latter, as it did not want its commercial secrets to be revealed publicly, falling into the hands of the competition.

4- Based on the request presented by LIDL to the Funchal City Council, the position of this city council was always very clear: “It would provide all the elements requested by JPP, as long as LIDL authorized it, as it could not run the risk of incurring liability civil and criminal proceedings with that company, handing over its commercial secrets to third parties.

5- JPP never presented any authorization from the company LIDL to obtain the information it had requested.

6- In view of this behaviour by LIDL, the Funchal City Council informed that without its authorization it would only deliver the documents required by court decision.

7- The JPP went to the Court, and this Chamber responded in opposition, expressly saying that it would provide all the information as long as the Court ordered it, and that it had not done so earlier, because the company LIDL was opposed to this.

8- In view of this position of the CMF, the Court ordered the intervention of LIDL, which praised the behavior of this city council and categorically opposed the content of its licensing processes being made public.

9- The problem began to be resolved solely between LIDL and JPP, since the Funchal Chamber was completely indifferent to the decision that the Court would take.

10- This Chamber just did not want to be accused by LIDL of revealing its commercial secrets, incurring future civil and criminal liability, which ultimately could harm Funchal taxpayers.

11- After an exchange of arguments between JPP and LIDL, the Court decided this and nothing more:

“I hereby summon the Requested Entity to, within 10 days, provide a copy of the requests presented by the counter-interested party LIDL & Company, letters sent by the Requested Entity and any information prepared by the Funchal City Council services, in the completed prior information procedures, nos. 2022000152 and 20220000026”.

12- In other words, the court essentially ruled in favor of LIDL, since in the processes still ongoing, nothing was authorized to be transferred to JPP, and as for the completed processes, only copies of the requests presented by that company, letters sent by this Chamber and any information prepared by the Municipality’s services and nothing more than that, economic studies, financial information, commercial strategies, business techniques, contracts with third parties and their costs cannot be delivered.

13-   The Chamber of Funchal, because it always said that it would respect the will of LIDL or the Court’s decision, contacted that company yesterday to find out if it could immediately comply with what was decided in court, having received the response that should not do so, for now, since although the court decision had been essentially favorable to him, he was considering filing an appeal, the deadline for which ends on 01/02/2024, as he did not want to be allowed to third parties  any  elements of your business, however simple  and insignificant they may be.

14- The Chamber cannot execute the Court’s decision without it becoming final and will therefore wait for LIDL to take a position.

15- For those who thought that the Funchal Chamber was against LIDL’s position or this company against the city council, you now know that the company LIDL is against JPP, for reasons that only it will be able to explain in due time”.

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