You are currently viewing Tied selling is illegal

Tied selling is illegal

Dear CCPC,
I had gone to buy day-old chicks at one of the poultry companies in Lusaka but I was given a condition that I could only purchase the chicks if I agreed to buy stock feed from them as well. I disagreed and I did not buy the chicks because I already had enough feed at my farm. Please clarify whether the enterprise was right in demanding that they could only sell the day-old chicks to me if I agreed to buy stock feed from them? – anonymous.
Hi Anonymous,
CCPC is happy to receive your letter and thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are always eager to hear from consumers as you are our eyes and ears on consumer and competition issues in market places.
Coming to your question, you were right to refuse to buy the stock feed. We commend you for upholding your rights because you clearly knew what you wanted to buy, which were chicks and not stock feed.
As CCPC, we are not against the practice of selling a variety of products to consumers under one roof as it is within the traders’ rights to sell as much as they wish. However, the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010 prohibits the practice of tying and bundling of one product to another as it is anti-competitive, especially for a firm which is dominant.
Tying of products is whereby a firm with substantial market power or dominance sells one product on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different product. Like in your case, you were told if you wanted to buy chicks to also buy feed from the same shop.
Tying can be described as the sale of products and services that could be viewed as separate but are sold together as one product. Tying of products and services is anti-competitive if it cannot be justified.
Tying of goods and services by traders and service providers has negative effects on the market and to consumers as they exploit consumers and it is anti-competitive as it also reduces competition on the market. Both traders and consumers should know that tied selling can violate competition law if the tying firm is dominant and consumers have no any alternative or source of supply of a specific product.
The best thing that the trader would have done was to advise you on the quality of the feed and not to force you to buy feed on the condition that they are sold together with chicks because these are two different products.
Some traders have even gone to an extent of saying that if you buy, for example, tea leaves from their  competitor, then you must also buy coffee or any other product under the same roof, this is wrong and these traders are only harming their businesses.
This is a restrictive kind of business and, therefore, it is logical to buy a product in one shop where it is more affordable and also buy a second product in another shop due to various reasons but most importantly because you have a right as a consumer to choose which products to purchase and in which wholesale or retail shop.
We would like to advise service providers and traders alike to desist from such practices as it is a clear violation of competition law and if found, the CCPC, will impose appropriate sanctions.
In your query you did not name this enterprise for reasons best known to you but as the CCPC, we recommend that you give us full information which we treat as strictly confidential so that we can easily follow up this case and many others.
For any other queries and concerns, feel free to report any to us on the details below.
Please e-mail us on:, Visit our Facebook –Commission-Zambia or Follow us on Twitter @ CompComZambia. We are at 4th Floor Main Post Office Building, P.O. Box 34919, Lusaka. Telephone: 222775/222787, Toll-Free line: 5678 across all mobile phone networks.