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Fine for failure to submit information within the period stipulated by the Office

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On June 9, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Abuse of a Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements issued a decision by which it imposed a fine in the amount of 84 736 EUR on the undertaking for the infringement of the obligation pursuant to the article 22, par. 2 of the Competition Act.

Within the investigation of retail sale of dairy products the Office requested the undertaking to submit documents and information. The undertaking failed to fulfil the obligation to submit the requested document and information within a period specified by the Office. The documents were submitted only after several reminders of the Office.

The power to request documents and information is one of the most important and frequently used investigation powers of the Office which enables to reveal infringements of the Act on Protection of Competition. Failure to submit the requested documents and information properly and in time may lead to distortion of proper and effective detection of anticompetitive conduct. It also forces the Office to realize other procedures in order to receive the requested documents and information what may negatively impact the efficiency of the Office´s powers. 

The purpose of the article 22, par. 2 and corresponding provisions on sanction for infringement of the obligation to submit the documents and information within the stipulated period is to ensure that there is no failure to respect the powers of the Office in conducting the investigation. It is essential that the Office sanctions also such misconduct of undertakings since it threatens the proper exercise of the powers of the Office and reduces the efficiency of the investigations, and thus the opportunity to reveal the anticompetitive conduct of undertakings.

Decision of the Antimonopoly Office is not valid.

Since it is a first-instance decision which could be appealed by the undertaking concerned, the Office does not provide any details on this decision.