The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, (hereafter "the Office") has confirmed that on 26 February 2019 it conducted an unannounced inspection at the business premises of an undertaking operating in the area of the supply of machinery and mechanical and technological equipment for agricultural primary production.
The inspection was carried out on the basis of a reasonable suspicion that an agreement restricting competition could have been concluded between undertakings operating in the area of the supply of machinery and mechanical and technological equipment for agricultural primary production, namely in connection with the participation and the submission of bids in public procurements partially financed by the EAFRD, of the RDP 2007-2013 programme, measures 1.1 Modernization of farms.
Since it could be a horizontal agreement between direct competitors, which is ranked among the most serious infringements of competition rules and is considered as a hard-core cartel, if such an agreement is proved, the undertakings may be fined of up to 10 % of their turnover for previous closed accounting period.
The fact that the Office conducted the inspection does not imply that the parties concerned have infringed competition rules nor does it prejudge the conclusions of the investigation.
At this stage the Office does not provide any further information about the investigation.