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CARTELS: the AMO SR initiated the administrative proceedings in the matter of possible cartel agreement in the field of sale of motor vehicles

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On June 3, 2016 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels (hereafter ,,the Office”), initiated the administrative proceedings against the undertakings operatingin thefield of sale of motor vehicleswith regard to possible cartel agreement restricting competition. 
The Office on the basis of gathered evidence came to a reasonable suspicion that 17 undertakings agreed on fixing selling prices, market allocation, exchange of sensitive business information, and on the coordination of process of public procurement, public tender or other similar tender. The presented agreement concerns the market of selling motor cars and light commercial vehicles.
Whereas it concerns horizontal agreement between direct competitors, which is ranked among the most serious violations of competition rules and considered as hard core cartel, in the case of proving infringement, the Office can impose the fine up to 10% of turnover attained in last closed financial period.
The Office further informs that pursuant to Act on the Protection of Competition the undertaking being party to the cartel agreement may take advantage of the so-called leniency programme in terms of which the participant to cartel may apply for full immunity from fine (if on its own initiation and as the first one provides the Office with decisive evidence on existence of such agreement within the time when the Office does not dispose any evidence of cartel agreement or more precisely submits the information and evidence decisive for conducting an  inspection) or for reduction of fine up to 50%. Detailed conditions for non- imposing or for reduction of fine are included in the decree of leniency programme.
Initiating the administrative proceeding does not imply that entities concerned have infringed the competition rules, nor does it prejudge a decision the AMO SR may come to.