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MERGERS: AMO SR initiated an administrative proceeding for a possible violation of the Act in relation to a merger in the area of production and sale of bakery products

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On 22 January 2021 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations, (here "the Office”), on its own initiative, initiated an administrative proceeding in the matter of possible violation of the Act on Protection of Competition. The violation may consist of a failure to notify a merger as well as the exercise of rights and obligations arising from this merger before its valid approval by the Office. This concerns a possible merger relating to the area of ​​production and sale of bakery products.

Based on documentation and information gathered, the Office acquired a reasonable suspicion that the sole control over undertakings active in the production and sale of bakery products had been acquired and exercised, the transaction fulfilling the characteristics of a merger, which should have been notified and assessed by the Office.

Merger control system is based on their notification to the Office before undertakings start the so-called implementation, i. e. exercising rights and obligations arising from it. Only transactions attaining a certain economic power, expressed in the form of turnover of parties to a merger, fall under the Office´s control. Only in this way the Office can effectively assess the merger impacts on market and on consumers and thus decide in the given case if either it approves a merger or a transaction will significantly impede effective competition, in particular by creating or strengthening a dominant position.

Initiating an administrative proceeding does not imply that the participant to it have breached competition rules nor does it prejudge conclusions, which the Office will come to in its decision in the given matter.