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CARTELS: AMO SR stopped an administrative proceeding in the matter of a possible cartel agreement in a public procurement for the construction of a healthcare facility “Emergency department of the L. Pasteur University Hospital Košice“

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On 1 April 2021 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, (hereafter “the Office”) issued a decision, by which it stopped an administrative proceeding against undertakings Chemkostav, a.s., PKB invest, s.r.o., and PRO - TENDER, s.r.o., concerning the matter of a possible agreement restricting competition, grounded in the coordination of their procedure in the public procurement of public contracting authority L. Pasteur University Hospital Košice. The public procurement financed from the European Union funds concerned the construction of healthcare facility "Emergency department of the L. Pasteur University Hospital Košice".
The Office stopped the administrative proceeding in question in accordance with the provision of the Article 32 Paragraph 2 Letter g) of the Act no. 136/2001 Coll. on the protection of economic competition and on the amendment of the Act of the Slovak National Council no. 347/1990 Coll. on the organization of ministries and other central state administration bodies of the Slovak Republic, as amended, as amended (hereafter "the Act”), as it did not prove that the participants to this administrative proceeding had infringed the provisions of the Act.
At the same time, the Office stopped the administrative proceeding in question in a part concerning the possible infringement of the Article 101 Paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union according to the Article 32 Paragraph 2 Letter c) in connection with the Article 2 Paragraph 3 of the Act, regarding the fact that there was not given a reason for such a proceeding.
In the administrative proceeding, the Office repeatedly assessed the matter in question, namely in accordance with the judgement of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic of 20 February 2020, No. p. 8Sžhk/1/2017, by which the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upheld the judgement of the Regional Court in Bratislava of 18 January 2017, No. p. 6S/162/2016-290, and returned the case to the Office for a further proceeding.
The Office again and intensively dealt with the matter in question and tried to prove the real state of matter, resp. the legality and the authenticity of disputed evidence in question by available and legally relevant means. In this context, the Office requested information from relevant state administration bodies, courts and law enforcement authorities. However, the performance of further action was either not allowed to the Office or did not provide the Office with any new information, which would help to clarify disputed facts.  
After evaluating information obtained and available, the Office concluded that it did not have sufficient evidence based on which it would be able to prove the existence of assessed agreement between the undertakings in this proceeding in accordance with the courts´ decisions.
The Office´s decision came into force on 22 April 2021.