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AMO SR issued a commitments decision against the company HP Inc Slovakia, s.r.o., in relation to a possible vertical agreement restricting competition

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The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter "the Office”) initiated an administrative proceeding against the company HP Inc Slovakia, s.r.o., Bratislava on 11 December 2019.
The administrative proceeding was conducted by the Office in the matter of a possible agreement restricting competition in the area of ​​selling original ink and toner cartridges for printing devices, copiers, fax machines or other such devices used for a similar purpose (hereafter "consumable material") to public sector customers in the territory of the SR.
Based on an inspection and a further investigation conducted, the Office preliminarily evaluated that in the given area there might had been applied a vertical agreement restricting competition by the form of market sharing, resp. customers allocation pursuant to the Article 4 of the Act on Protection of Competition, as well as the Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The Office was assessing a conduct, which concerned especially the system of granting both the so-called special discounts to a certain group of retail sellers within the sale of original consumable material to end customers in the public sector in the territory of the SR and the so-called quality/conformity certificates within the framework of public procurements concerning the sale of consumable material in the territory of the SR.
In the course of the administrative proceeding in question, the party to the proceeding proposed certain commitments to eliminate competition concerns, which the Office had preliminarily identified in the given case. The Office assessed the proposed commitments, inter alia, through testing and public consultation, as well, while partially modifying the wording of proposed commitments also on the basis of testing.
After evaluating all obtained documentation and information, the results of testing of commitments, the circumstances of the given case, as well as business conditions in the area of selling consumable material in the territory of the SR, the Office issued a commitments decision on 10 March 2021, pursuant to the Article 38f of the Act on Protection of Competition. In the context of commitments decision, the Office stated that the accepted commitments suitably and adequately responded to the Office's competition concerns, which it had summarized in the preliminary assessment of the given matter.
The decision came into force on 15 March 2021.