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CARTELS: The Council of AMO SR decided on fines in the amount of more than 1 mil. EUR for a cartel in public procurements carried out through the ECS

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The Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereafter “the Council of the Office”) on 19 May 2021, following the review of the first-instance decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, No. 2019/DOH/POK/1/39 of 5 December 2019, issued a decision, No. 2021/DOH/POK/R/24, in the matter of an agreement restricting competition.

In the administrative proceedings, there were six undertakings assessed, namely ARTRA, s.r.o., Oslany, ČECHOVO, s. r. o., Sabinov, JANOLI, s.r.o., Uzovce, JASTA Slovakia, s.r.o., Prešov, Ing. Jaroslav Marinica - MARINI, Prešov and PMB Slovakia, s. r. o., Púchov.

The given undertakings were coordinating their bidding procedure in public procurements carried out through the electronic contracting system (ECS) during the period from 12 January 2015 to 28 April 2017. By this they concluded an agreement restricting competition, which was aimed at restricting competition in the field of supplies of furniture and medical equipment and in the field of supplies of clothing, footwear and textile products in the territory of the Slovak Republic by the means of direct or indirect determination of goods prices, market allocation and the coordination of undertakings in a public procurement, a public tender or other similar competition in connection with a public procurement, a public tender or other similar competition, which is forbidden according to the Article 4 Paragraph 1 in connection with the Article 4 Paragraph 4 Letter a), c) and f) of the Act No. 136/2001 Coll. on the Protection of Competition and on Amendments and Supplements to 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.

The Council of the Office upheld the factual correctness of findings of the first-instance body, as well as the legal assessment. However, it remedied the shortcomings in the operative part of the first-instance decision and adjusted the amount of fines imposed on the undertakings as follows: 
  • the undertaking ARTRA, s.r.o.,: EUR 900 069,
  • the undertaking ČECHOVO, s. r. o.,: EUR 8 621,
  • the undertaking JANOLI, s.r.o.,: EUR 162 247,
  • the undertaking JASTA Slovakia, s.r.o.,: EUR 10 807,
  • the undertaking Ing. Jaroslav Marinica – MARINI: EUR 12 455 and
  • the undertaking PMB Slovakia, s. r. o.,: EUR 50 236.
At the same time, all participants to the proceedings were prohibited from participating in a public procurement for a period of three years from the date of a final decision coming into force.
The decision of the Council of the Office came into force on 31 May 2021.
A party to the proceedings may seek the judicial review of this decision.