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CARTELS: AMO SR initiated the administrative proceedings in the matter of suspicion from collusion in public tender implemented within the operational programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth

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On December 22, 2014 Division of Cartels of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, initiated ex officio the administrative proceedings against undertakings acting in the building industry in the matter of possible agreement restricting competition.

The Office acquired documents and information based on which it had reasonable suspicion that three undertakings coordinated their bidding procedure in tender dealing with the adaptation of the building object to new technologies in the total presumed value of SKK 3 560 000 without VAT, it means EUR 118 170,35 without VAT. This project was implemented in Presov region within the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth and co-financed by the Regional Development European Fund and state budget.

Since these agreement represent 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.