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ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION: AMO SR annulled a preliminary measure in an administrative proceedings in the matter of a possible abuse of a dominant position in the field of production and distribution of energy and media

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On 21 April 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of a Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter "the Office") initiated, on its own initiative, an administrative proceedings against the company CHEMES, a.s. Humenné, in the matter of a possible abuse of a dominant position according to the provisions of the Article 8 Paragraph 2 Letter a) of the Act on Protection of Competition (hereafter "the Act") and the Article 102 Letter a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. According to the provision of the Act, the abuse of a dominant position in relevant market is direct or indirect enforcement of excessive prices or other unfair trading conditions.
On the basis of the investigation carried out, the Office acquired documentation and information giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that the Act might have been infringed. The infringement of the Act may consist in the conduct of the undertaking, who, in an industrial park, applies such trading conditions for his energy and media customers, due to which these customers must take all the energy and media from the undertaking who produces them, and at the same time, they are denied to produce certain energy or media on their own or to take them from third parties.
With regard to the fact that in the given industrial park there has come to the interruption of energies and media supplies to one of entities, the Office, on the basis of the Article 43 Paragraph 1 Letter a) of Act on Administrative Proceedings (Administrative Procedure Code) issued a preliminary measure on 12 May 2020. The aim of the preliminary measure was to ensure the supplies of energies and media and also to prevent the entity concerned from being eventually forced to leave the market as a result of the conduct of the energies and media supplier. At the same time, the aim was also to prevent irreversible changes that could occur before the Office assesses the adequacy of the trading conditions within the administrative proceedings in question.

On the basis of received information about the resumption of energies and media supplies to the entity concerned and about the conclusion of an agreement on conditions for the further provision of energies and media, the Office came to the conslusion that the reason for ordering this preliminary measure had lapsed. Regarding the facts stated above, on 25 May 2020 the Office, on the basis of the Article 43 Paragraph 2 of the Act on Administrative Proceedings (Administrative Procedure Code), annulled the preliminary measure imposed in the given case.
In this context, the Office adds that the administrative proceedings in the matter has been still ongoing.