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Council of the Office confirmed the decision of the Division of Cartels on breaching an obligation to submit all required documentation and information within the time stipulated by the Office

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On 21 June 2016 the Office issued a decision, by which it imposed a fine on undertaking H-COLOR, spol. s r.o., seated at Novozámocká 36, 949 01 Nitra for breaching an obligation to submit all documentation and information required by the Office within the stipulated time. Within the frame of administrative investigation aimed at investigating whether there is a reason to initiate administrative proceedings pursuant to the Act on Protection of Competition, the Office invited the undertaking H-COLOR, spol. s r.o. to submit the original complete documentation proving the specific public tender process. Neither after urgent request did the undertaking submit the required documentation.

The purpose of provision of Art. 22, par. 2 of the Act and the corresponding provision on sanction for breaching an obligation to submit documentation and information required by the Office within stipulated time is to ensure the rights of the Office were respected throughout the administrative investigation process. It is necessary that the Office sanctioned also this conduct of undertakings whereas it endangers the proper performance of the rights of the Office and decreases the efficiency of investigation process, thereby the ability to reveal anti-competitive conduct of undertakings.
By the decision of 12 May 2016 the Council of the Office upheld the conclusion of the Office that the undertaking H-COLOR, spol. s r.o. breached an obligation set by the Act and that imposing a fine on the undertaking is reasonable. The Act enables imposing a fine for breaching an obligation up to 1% of the turnover of undertaking. The Council of the Office considered the fine as inappropriate for committed breach and decreased the sum of a fine from EUR 5 013 (0,8% of the turnover) to EUR 3 133 (0,5% of the turnover).     

Decision came into force on 20 June 2016.

Throughout the second-instance proceedings of the Council of the Office, the undertaking H-COLOR, spol. s r.o. refused to accept the delivery of mail posting. The Office registers such behaviour of undertakings in the proceedings relatively frequently. It is necessary to underline that not accepting mail posting does not result into impossibility of the Office to conduct the proceedings with the subjects addressed. The legislation sets the rules pursuant to which mail posting having been delivered properly to official addresses are considered delivered. If the subjects addressed do not communicate with the Office, they are put at risk of vainly passed time limits for fulfilling the obligations or performing important acts that may serve as their defence in the proceedings. With the aim to inform the public on the Office´s proceedings, the Office publishes the commented wording of the Act COMPAct, which includes also the details of delivery (art. 29 of the Act). The interpretation is available at (available only in Slovak language).