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ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION: AMO SR issued a preliminary measure in an administrative proceedings in the matter of possible abuse of a dominant position in energies and media production and distribution

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On 21 April 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of a Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter "the Office") initiated, on its own initiative, an administrative proceedings against the company CHEMES, a.s. Humenné, in the matter of the possible abuse of a dominant position according to the provisions of the Article 8 Paragraph 2 Letter a) of the Act on Protection of Competition (hereafter "the Act") and the Article 102 Letter a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. According to the provision of the Act, the abuse of a dominant position in relevant market is direct or indirect enforcement of excessive prices or other unfair trading conditions.

On the basis of the investigation carried out, the Office acquired documentation and information giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that the Act might have been infringed. The infringement of the Act may consist in the conduct of the undertaking, who, in an industrial park, applies such trading conditions for his energy and media customers, due to which these customers must take all the energy and media from the undertaking who produces them, and at the same time, they are denied to produce certain energy or media on their own or to take them from third parties.

With regard to the fact that in the given industrial park there has come to the interruption of energies and media supplies to one of entities, the Office, on the basis of the Article 43 Paragraph 1 Letter a) of Act No. 71/1967 Coll. on administrative proceedings, as amended, issued a preliminary measure on 12 May 2020. The aim of the preliminary measure is to secure the supplies of energies and media and also to prevent the entity concerned from being eventually forced to leave the market as a result of the conduct of the energies and media supplier. At the same time, the aim is also to prevent irreversible changes that could occur before the Office assesses the adequacy of the trading conditions within the administrative proceedings in question.

Any possible appeal against this Office´s decision on the preliminary measure has no suspensive effect and is therefore enforceable on the day of its delivery to the addressee in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Administrative Procedure Code. However, the undertaking, against whom the Office has been conducting the above-mentioned administrative proceedings, has not yet taken over the consignment with the preliminary measure delivered via the electronic mailbox of the Central Public Administration Portal.

According to the Article 38 Paragraph 1 of the Act, for non-compliance with the Office´s decision the Office shall impose a fine on an undertaking in the amount of up to 10 % of the turnover according to the Article 3 Paragraph 5 of the Act.