Skip to main content

CARTELS: AMO SR imposed fines on three undertakings for a cartel agreement in public procurements in the field of providing control and maintenance services of LV lines


The decision of AMO SR has come into force.

elektrické stĺpy v prírode, pri dome
elektrické stĺpy v prírode, pri dome

On 3 February 2023 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, (hereafter "the Office") issued a decision imposing fines in the total amount of EUR 8 890 on three undertakings and prohibiting them to participate in public procurement during the period of one year for concluding a cartel agreement, which is prohibited pursuant to the provision of Article 4 Paragraph 1 in connection with the provision of Article 4 Paragraph 4 Letters a), c) and f) of the Act No. 136/2001 Coll. on Protection of Competition and on Amendments and Supplements to the Act of Slovak National Council No. 347/1990 Coll. on Organization of Ministries and Other Central Bodies of State Administration of the Slovak Republic, as amended, in the wording effective until 31 May 2021.

In the course of the investigation and administrative proceeding, the Office obtained evidence, from which it emerged that the undertakings MA-RY s.r.o., Mgr. Marek Kočiš and Štefan Rybovič coordinated their procedure during preparing and submitting bids for two public procurements and one commercial public tender of a public contracting authority Východoslovenská distribučná, a.s., in the years 2019 and 2020. All contracts related to the provision of services consisting of the control and maintenance of route of LV lines (low voltage power lines) in the territory of eastern Slovakia. While applying for competitions, these undertakings did not proceed independently, but they coordinated their procedure and in the same way they proceeded in the process of preparing and submitting bids to the public contracting authority. They submitted their bids so that a pre-arranged participant would win the individual parts of these contracts. They submitted other "non-winning bids" with the aim to create the appearance of competition, without a real interest in winning the given part of procurement or competition.

The Office evaluated this procedure of undertakings as a target agreement, which was grounded on the direct or indirect determining prices of goods, the market allocation and the coordination of undertakings in public procurement, commercial public tender or other similar competition, in relation to public procurement, commercial public tender or other similar competition. In the case of all three participants to the proceeding, the Office agreed on settlement negotiations, based on which the Office reduced a fine by 30 % to all three participants to the proceeding and imposed a prohibition of participation in public procurement for one year. Without the settlement, the Office would impose a three-year prohibition on undertakings.

The Office´s decision came into force on 9 February 2023.