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MERGERS: AMO SR initiated administrative proceedings relating to the retail sale of books

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On 27 March 2017 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereafter "the Office") initiated the administrative proceeding against two undertakings, in the matter of a possible infringement of the Act on Protection of Competition, by not having the merger notified to the Office and by implementing the merger prior to the Office´s final approval. The investigated transaction relates to the area of retail sale of books.
On the basis of gathered documentation the Office came to a reasonable suspicion of the acquisition and the implementation of a joint control over the undertaking operating in the area of retail sale of books, while the transaction has the characteristics of a merger that should have been notified and assessed by the Office.
Mergers control system is based on notification of the mergers to the Office before the undertakings begin the so-called implementation, i. e. exercising the rights and obligations arising therefrom. Under the control of the Office are covered only transactions reaching certain economic power that is expressed in the form of a turnover of the parties to the merger. 
Only by this way the Office can effectively assess the impacts of the merger on the market and the consumers and thus in the case of a merger the Office decides whether it approves the merger or the transaction may result in a significant impediment of effective competition, particularly by creating or strengthening of a dominant position.
Initiating the administrative proceedings does not imply that the participants have violated competition rules, neither does it prejudge any conclusions, which the Office will reach in its decision.