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Council of the AMO confirmed the decision on the cartel agreement in the construction of healthcare facility

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On 30 June 2016 the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic issued a decision No. 2016/KH/R/2/033 by which it upheld and amended the fist-instance decision concluded on the cartel agreement in public procurement for the construction of healthcare facility – the Emergency department of the L. Pasteur Faculty Hospital in Košice.
In 2011 the undertakings Chemkostav, a.s., seated at K. Kuzmanyho 1259/22, 071 01, Michalovce, PKB invest, s.r.o., seated at Jilemnického 4, 080 01 Prešov and PRO – TENDER s.r.o., seated at Smetanova 9, 040 01 Košice commited the infringement of the Act on Protection of Competition by coordinating their procedure in the subjected public procurement, thereby restricting competition in the market of constructing works, including equipment supply in the territory of the Slovak Republic.
The undertakings Chemkostav, a.s. and PKB invest, s.r.o. submitted concerted bids and the undertaking PRO – TENDER s.r.o., providing services related to subjected public procurement, actively contributed to this coordination.   
The Council of the Office imposed for the infringement of the Act the fines as follows:
  • Chemkostav, a.s.: EUR 2 206 706,
  • PKB invest, s.r.o.: EUR 327 668,
  • PRO – TENDER: EUR 13 177.
Decision of the Council of the Office came into force on 21 July 2016. The parties may seek review of this decision by the court.
Pursuant to the abovementioned decision in accordance with the Art. 38 of the Act on Protection of Competition in the wording effective from 18 April 2016, the undertakings has been banned from participating in public procurement for a period of three years from the date the final decision becomes valid.
A final decision means either a decision of the Office against which an action is not brought or cannot be made or a decision against which an action is brought and this is subsequently rejected or the legal proceedings in the subjected matter is stopped.
Imposing a ban on participating in public procurement is an obligatory part of the decision on the agreement restricting competition through the collusion in public procurement or similar tender. The standard length of the ban is three years, but the law provides for two exceptions – the Office does not impose such a ban on the successful leniency applicant at all and Office imposes a ban for 1 year on the undertaking using the instrument of settlement. The period runs from the so-called final decision. 
In this case it is not clear whether it is possible to consider this decision as a final decision in relation to any party to the proceedings, since the time-limit for bringing an action against the decision of the Office has been passing.