Franchisee may not be bound by a non-competition clause

Non-competition clause, franchisee

Recently, the court of Utrecht ruled again on the Super de Boer case against one of its (former) franchisees.

The franchisee involved, who is also a sub-tenant of Super de Boer, did not give up and sold to C1000 and, after a (too) late offer, did not see any point in becoming Jumbo after all. Obviously, the franchisee could not be obliged to do so either. In that sense, the court’s previous verdict was hardly surprising. However, Super de Boer canceled the collaboration. More interesting, therefore, is the court’s subsequent ruling in summary proceedings that the franchisee does not have to comply with the non-competition clause for the time being, since the premature termination of the franchise agreement can therefore be blamed on Super de Boer. With this, Super de Boer, which demanded compliance with the non-competition clause, shot itself in the foot. This also offers perspectives for franchisees who are confronted with a (premature) termination of the franchise agreement by their organization and who are limited (only) by the non-competition clause in choosing a different formula. Whether this will also benefit the franchisee in question in the long term is still the question now that Super de Boer has also started a procedure to evict the leased property, partly on the grounds of urgent personal use. Since the ruling of the Supreme Court regarding Coop/Vomar, the chance that this claim will also be rejected is smaller. The franchisee then only has a claim for an allowance for relocation and refurbishment costs, as well as a separate claim for compensation for the advantage enjoyed by Super de Boer/Jumbo insofar as it will also operate a supermarket at the same location. If this is the case because the main lease has also been terminated.

Ludwig & Van Dam franchise attorneys, franchise legal advice

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