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CARTELS: AMO initiated the administrative proceedings for the suspicion of collusion of undertakings in engineering

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On March 30, 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 acting also in engineering.
The Office acquired evidence based on which it had reasonable suspicion that two undertakings coordinated their bidding procedure in tender for the supply of machinery and equipment for deproteinization of starch for industrial purposes and the completion of an integrated warehouse management of wheat starch in the total presumed value of EUR 3 950 000 without VAT. This project was realized with the financial support of EU funds.
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” (Program zhovievavosti (tzv. 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.