Tuesday, 23 October 2018 12:01

Decision 670/2018

Decision on the ex officio investigation conducted by the Directorate-General for Competition regarding the potential violation of Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 and Article 101 TFEU in the electrical services sector.

Decision 670/2018
File (PDF) Decision 670/2018
Date of Publication of Decision October 23rd, 2018
Issue Number of Government Bulletin  
Relevant Market Electrical Services
Proceedings Collusion
Legal Framework Articles 1 and 25a of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011
Decision Violation - Dispute Resolution Procedure 
Complainant Ex Officio Investigation
Respondents

1. NATIONAL FEDERATION OF ELECTRICIANS' UNIONS

2. LOCAL ELECTRICIANS' PRIMARY UNIONS (ELEVEN IN TOTAL)

Summary of Decision

The Hellenic Competition Commission, in plenary session, decided unanimously, during the simplified Dispute Resolution Procedure pursuant to Article 25(a) of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 and in accordance with the Commission’s Decision 628/2016, concluded that the secondary Electrician’s Federation as well as eleven in total (11) primary Federations, together with the respective civil partnerships and welfare funds which were included in the above procedure, violated Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011, previously Article 1 of Greek Law 703/1977, concerning the prohibition of collusion and Article 101 TFEU, through their involvement in collusions for fixing minimum or unitary remunerations in the Electrical Services sector.

The decision was published during the simplified dispute resolution procedure, after interest shown by the parties under investigation and their final statement regarding the admission of guilt for the violations which were identified. Based on the rationale of the decision, the above company unions were involved in prohibited horizontal collusions, especially vis a vis price harmonization and specifically the setting, per case, of minimum or unitary charges and/or the completion of research – plans for electrical installations, plans for telephone installations and other electrical services.

The horizontal collusion in question manifested itself mainly through statutory provisions or provisions in the Code of Ethics of the Unions, actions and decisions of the implicated parties, through the adoption of mechanisms for adherence to the minimum or unitary charges, distribution of remunerations between the union and their electrician members, application of pricing lists, monitoring of compliance of members with the decision of the company unions etc.

For the above violations the implicated unions were fined a total sum of one hundred and forty-five thousand and ten Euros and ninety-six cents (145,010.96€), reduced by 15%, as provided, for the cooperation of the parties in the Dispute Resolution Procedure and their admission of guilt to participating in the violations identified above and accepting responsibility for those.

Also, the Commission imposed further sanctions on the implicated company unions: cessation and omission of the identified violations and a series of measures such as retraction from their statutes and Code of Ethics etc. of the provisions which contradict the provisions of the law, retracting decisions/announcements/price lists which concern the setting of prices, informing the members of the unions about the retraction of the above provisions, retractions of the anti-competitive  decisions/announcements/price lists which relate to price fixing and their obligation not to become implicated in similar practices in the future in the remit of the unions or between members, publication in local newspapers etc.

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