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ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION: AMO SR initiated an administrative proceeding for the possible abuse of dominant position in delivering bulk letter consignments

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On 14 May 2021 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter “the Office”) initiated, based on its own initiative, an administrative proceeding in the matter of possible abuse of dominant position pursuant to the Article 8 Paragraph 2 Letter c) of the Act on Protection of Competition (hereafter “the Act”) and the Article 102 Letter c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in the field of delivering bulk letter consignments.
According to the stated provision of the Act, the abuse of dominant position on a relevant market is applying dissimilar conditions on identical or comparable performance to individual undertakings, which thus are or may be disadvantaged in competition.
This administrative proceeding was initiated by the Office, following an investigation carried out in the field of ​​producing and delivering bulk letter consignments and addressed advertising consignments. As a part of the investigation, the Office obtained information and documentation giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that an undertaking operating in the field of ​​delivering bulk letter consignments may have infringed the Act, namely by applying unjustified differences in discounts for individual customers in delivering bulk letter consignments since 1 January 2014, which could have resulted in disadvantaging undertakings in competition in the field of producing bulk letter consignments.
According to the Article 38 Paragraph 1 of the Act, for the infringement of prohibition to abuse a dominant position the Office shall impose a fine of up to 10 % of the turnover according to the Article 3 Paragraph 5 of the Act for a previous accounting period.
The initiation of administrative proceeding does not imply that a party to the proceedings has infringed competition rules, nor does it prejudge conclusions, which the Office may reach in its decision in the matter itself.