Meeting on “Whistleblower and Providing Evidence of Cartel“

On 31 May 2017 a meeting, the main theme of which was the whistleblower and providing the evidence of cartel, took place at the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic. 
The invitation to the meeting with the Office´s representatives accepted besides the representatives of non-governmental organizations, associations, companies also the representatives of several advocacy offices and mass media.

In the introductory part, the Vice-Chairman of the Office clarified the scope of the Office as defined by the Act on Protection of Competition and the State Aid Act. He presented the development of the number of complaints, investigations, administrative proceedings and decisions of the Office, as well as of the inspections carried out by the Division of Cartels and also of the received applications for the participation in the leniency program. In addition, he explained the factors affecting the number of initiated administrative proceedings and of inspections during the past period.
More detailed information on the introductory part of the meeting was processed and published in the Office´s document entitled Brief analysis of the development of the number of initiated administrative proceedings (Stručná analýza vývoja počtu začatých správnych konaní a úradom realizovaných inšpekcií) and of the inspections carried out by the Office (available in Slovak).
Afterwards, the Office´s representative introduced the Methodological Guideline on Selected Issues of Procedure of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (Metodický pokyn k vybraným otázkam postupu Protimonopolného úradu SR v prípade predloženia dôkazov o dohode obmedzujúcej súťaž) in the case of submitting evidence on an agreement restricting competition 2. It was issued in order to streamline the Office´s procedures related to the institute of a notifier.

At the end of the meeting, the representative of the Division of Cartels explained what constitutes the decisive evidence of an agreement restricting competition, she clarified what documentation and information the notifier should submit to the Office, while stressing what the Office will focus on when assessing the submitted documentation and information. The representatives of the Office answered a number of questions, such as how the identity of the notifiers of evidence is preserved or how much the remuneration for their submission is.

During the discussion, they noted the request that a natural person was informed that he/she had been granted the notifier's position on the basis that he/she had provided the Office with the evidence of an agreement restricting competition and was entitled to the remuneration under the provision of the Article 38g of the Act on Protection of Competition. Therefore, the Office shall prepare a format in which it shall provide such person with information on the assessment of compliance with the relevant conditions laid down by the Act.
Several questions led to information and evidence provided in the file of the administrative proceedings and the extent to which they would be available to the parties of the proceedings. From the point of view of the Office, it is necessary to take into account the specific circumstances of individual cases so as not to affect the rights of the parties to the proceedings with regard to their rights of defence and also to the compliance with the law's duty to protect the identity of the notifier. 

A full presentation of the Office´s representatives that was used at the meeting is available on the following link: Whistleblower a oznamovanie dôkazov o karteli (available in Slovak).
Last update:22.05.2018