Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:09

Decision 628/2016

Terms, conditions for the Settlement procedure in horizontal agreements in violation of article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011and / or article 101 of the TFEU.

Decision 628/2016
File (PDF) Decision 628/2016
Date of Publication of Decision July 18th, 2016
Issue Number of Government Bulletin  
Relevant Market  
Proceedings  Terms, conditions for the Settlement procedure in horizontal agreements in violation of article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011and / or article 101 of the TFEU.
Legal Framework Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 and / or Article 101 TFEU.
Decision   
Notifying Company  
Company under Examination   
Summary of Decision   The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (by its unanimous Decision No. 628/2016) established the terms and conditions of the settlement procedure in cartel cases, according to the provisions of Articles 25a and 14 par 2 of the Greek Competition Act.

The new Settlement Procedure concerns cases where undertakings or associations of undertakings make a clear and unequivocal acknowledgment of participation and liability in relation to their participation in horizontal agreements (cartels) and the subsequent breach of competition law (Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and/or Article 101 TFEU).  As a result, they can obtain a reduction of the imposed fine by 15%, provided that certain conditions are fulfilled. The Procedure allows the HCC to achieve efficiencies through a streamlined administrative process, resulting in a relatively more expedited adoption of infringement decisions regarding Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and/or Article 101 TFEU. In addition, the settlement procedure provides scope for a reduction in the number of appeals against the HCC’s decisions before administrative courts. In turn, this would allow a better allocation of resources, in order to deal with more cases, thereby increasing the deterrence effect of the HCC’s enforcement action, while simultaneously increasing citizens’ awareness in the effective and timely punishment of undertakings infringing competition law.

One of the key parameters of the new Settlement Procedure is the requirements for settlement, namely the unequivocal acknowledgment on behalf of undertakings or associations of undertakings of their participation to an infringement and the acceptance of their liability in relation to the infringement. In addition, the parties must confirm that, in view of the above, they do not request full access to the file or an oral hearing before the HCC’s Board. 

The Settlement Procedure provides for the conditions under which cases are considered suitable for settlement and the factors taken into account. It also explains in detail the timeframe and administrative steps covering the commencement and conduct of proceedings  (i.e. bilateral discussions, submission and content of the settlement proposal, confidentiality of cartel settlement discussions and information). HCC’s decision and the accompanying Memo also clarify issues regarding the calculation of the reduced fine imposed, the interplay of Leniency and Settlement procedures as well as Commitments procedures.
Judicial Means  Final. Decision has not been appealed.
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens(Administrative Division) -
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