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CARTELS: AMO initiated the administrative proceedings for the suspicion of collusion in public tender for building works on the hydroelectric power station

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On March 25, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Cartels, initiated ex officio the administrative proceedings in the matter of possible agreements restricting competition concluded between undertakings operating also in the building industry.
The Office acquired evidence based on which it had reasonable suspicion that two undertakings coordinated their bidding procedure in the tender for building works on the hydroelectric power station. This project was carried out in Banská Bystrica region within the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth and co-financed from the own resources of tender announcer.
Since this agreement represents horizontal agreement between direct competitors, which is considered as the most serious infringement of competition rules, it means hard-core cartel, cartel participants may be fined up to 10 % of their turnover for the preceding closed accounting period.
The Office also states that a cartel participant has an option to fully avoid a fine if he was the first to provide, on its own initiative, decisive evidence to prove a violation of the prohibited agreement or was the first to provide, on its own initiative, information and evidence being decisive to perform an inspection or he may reach its reducing up to 50%. Detailed conditions of non-imposing or reducing a fine are summarized in the document “Leniency program”.

The fact that the Office initiated the administrative proceedings does not imply that the entity concerned has infringed the competition rules, nor does it prejudge the conclusions which the Office may reach in its decision.