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AMO SR carried out an inspection in the area of supply and retail sales of selected dairy products

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In 2013 the Antimonopoly Office set the sector of food and agriculture as one of its priorities and it initiated a survey of milk and dairy products. Evidence found within the market survey aimed at milk and dairy products were one of the bases for the inspection carried by the Office.

In the second half of May 2014 the Office carried out an inspection in business premises of five undertakings acting in the area of supply and retail sales of milk and selected dairy products in Slovakia. Specifically, it was one supplier and four retail chains operating in Slovakia. The reason for the inspection was a suspicion of a possible conclusion of vertical and/or horizontal agreements, which objective or effect was restriction of competition. This may have a negative impact on final consumers. In the terms of possible form of competition restriction the Office examines whether the undertakings have agreed on wholesale prices and/or on retail prices for final consumers.

25 employees of the Office participated in the intervention at the premises of the undertakings concerned. In these premises the Office inspected or copied information from e-mail accounts of 29 users – employees of the inspected undertakings. After informing the undertaking the Office will launch the inspection of content of acquired documents and information and they will be evaluated and analysed. The Investigation neither implies that the undertakings breached the competition rules; nor prejudges the outcomes of the investigation itself.

During the inspection at the premises of one of the undertakings the facts which could negatively impact the inspection occurred. In this case the Antimonopoly Office of SR has already initiated the administrative proceedings in the matter of imposing the disciplinary penalty for failure to fulfill the obligations of the undertaking during the inspection. Initiation of proceedings neither implies that undertakings are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour; nor prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.