On 18 November 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, (hereafter "the Office") issued a decision, by which it imposed fines on three undertakings in the total amount of EUR 431 095 for concluding a cartel agreement, which constitutes the infringement of provision of Article 4 Paragraph 1 in connection with the provision of Article 4 Paragraph 4 Letter a), c) and f) of the Act on Protection of Competition.
In one case, the Office also imposed a ban on participation in a public procurement for a period of three years after the final decision comes into force.
The object of this cartel agreement was the coordination of conduct of undertakings operating in the area of realization of supplies of machines and mechanical and technological equipment for the enterprises of primary agricultural production, namely as participants in submitting bids in five public procurements announced in June 2014 and also as an undertaking authorized by public contracting authorities to carry out the process of preparation and realization of public procurements in question directly. The coordination of these undertakings was based on the process of preparation and realization of public procurements, the procedure for the preparation and submission of bids with the aim to enable the victory of a pre-determined participant.
In the proceedings in question, the Office, at the request of one of participants to the proceedings, proceeded to apply the leniency programme and to use the institute of settlement and, on that basis, it reduced its fine.
The Office stopped the proceedings against one of participants to the proceedings, as it came to the conclusion that the assessment of its conduct does not fall within the Office´s competence.
The Office´s decision has not yet come into force, since participants to the proceedings may file an appeal within 15 days from the date of its delivery.
The Office informed about the initiation of administrative proceedings in the given matter in 2019 through its press release published on www.antimon.gov.sk/5933-en/cartels-amo-sr-has-initiated-the-administrative-proceedings-in-the-matter-of-a-possible-cartel-agreement-during-public-procurement-for-the-supplies-of-machines-and-mechanical-and-technological-equipment/