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Fine for refusal to cooperate during the inspection

Updated on:
The Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic confirmed the fine in the amount of EUR 44 358 imposed on the undertaking AUTOMAX s.r.o. („AUTOMAX“) for disabling the Office to make the inspection.

During the inspection in December 2013 in the premises of undertaking AUTOMAX, the manager of the company concerned refused to cooperate and disabled the employees of the Office to conduct the inspection. Thus the company AUTOMAX did not fulfil the obligation to provide the Office with the required information and documents, enable the Office to review this information and documents, cooperate with the Office in their assessment and enable the employees of the Office to enter any premises and means of transport of the undertaking.

For the violation of the obligation pursuant to Article 40 of the Act on Protection of Competition the company AUTOMAX has been imposed a fine in the amount of EUR 44 358, representing 0,6% of its turnover in 2013.

The power to conduct an inspection is one of the most important investigative powers of the Office enabling the Office to reveal the violation of the provisions of the Act. Failure to enable the inspection represents violation of the obligations pursuant to the article 40 of the Act. In general, it has negative consequences for the exercise of the Office´s powers as well as proper revealing of anticompetitive conduct. The purpose of the provisions on obligations of the undertaking to cooperate with the Office and the corresponding provisions on sanctions for violation of these obligations is to ensure that the Office is not ignored by the investigated entities. In case the violation of the Article 40 of the Act is proved the undertaking may be imposed a fine of up to 1% of its turnover for the preceding closed accounting period and pursuant to the article 38, par. 5 of the Act this fine is being imposed obligatory.

Decision came into force on 22 September 2014.