Friday, 21 December 2018

Decision 676/2018

Decision on the ex officio investigation conducted by the Directorate-General for Competition reagrding the possible violatation of Articles 1 and 2 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 as well as Articles 101 and 102 TFEU in the dairy products sector. 


Decision 676/2018
File (PDF) Decision 676/2018
Date of Publication of Decision December 21st, 2018
Issue Number of Government Bulletin  Β/5094/31.12.2019
Relevant Market Dairy Products
Proceedings Collusion
Legal Framework Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 and Article 101 TFEU


Complainant Ex Officio Investigation
Summary of Decision

Following an ex officio investigation by the Directorate-General for Competition into FRIESLANDCAMPINA HELLAS S.A., a company trading in the dairy products sector, the Hellenic Competition Commission, in its plenary session unanimously decided that the above company violated Article 1 of Greek Law 703/1977 (now Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011) and Article 101 TFEU, by participating in a prohibited vertical agreement which consisted of resale price maintenance and non-competition clauses imposed on the company’s affiliated wholesalers/distributors. Although the prohibited practices appear to have taken place at different times and to varying degrees (at least on the basis of the data available to the Commission), the Commission concluded  that they constitute a single, unified deterrent strategy, which commenced in 1996 and carried on up until, at least, 2014.

In its same Decision, the Commission (a) unanimously imposed upon the aforementioned company the obligation to refrain in the future from violating Article 1 of Law 703/1977 (now Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011) and Article 101 TFEU; (b) by majority, imposed a fine on the company for committing a single and continuous infringement of Article 1 of Law 703/1977 (now Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011) and Article 101 TFEU, amounting to three million three hundred and four thousand one hundred and ten Euros (EUR 3,304,110); (c) unanimously threatened the aforementioned company with a fine of ten thousand euros (EUR 10,000) per day of non-compliance with the decision, from the day of its publication, i.e. for each day of repeating the violation, if such a violation is confirmed in a new decision by the Commission.

The Commission, by majority, found that FRIESLANDCAMPINA had not committed an infringement of Article 2 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011, as analyzed in the grounds of the decision, also finding that the conditions for prohibition pursuant to Article 102 TFEU were not met and, therefore, there was no reason for further action by the Commission in this respect.

Judicial Means Final. Decision has not been appealed
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division) -
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