Monday, 08 October 2018 12:01

Decision 668/2018

Decision on the ex-officio investigation in the production and marketing of dairy products market, in order to determine whether there is an infringement of Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 (on the “Protection of Free Competition”) and/or Article 101 and 102 TFEU.

 

Decision 668/2018
File (PDF) Decision 668/2018
Date of Publication of Decision  October 8th, 2018
Issue Number of Government Bulletin   
Relevant Market  Production and marketing of dairy products
Proceedings Collusion 
Legal Framework Article 1 and Article 25 (a) of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011 
Decision Decision finding an infringement – Settlement Procedure
Complainant  Ex officio investigation
Respondents 

1.FrieslandCampina Hellas S.A.

2. MANDREKAS S.A.
Summary of Decision   

The Hellenic Competition Commission, in plenary, adopted a unanimous decision following the simplified Settlement Procedure according to article 25a of Law 3959/2011 and Decision no. 628/2016, following a request for inclusion in this process by the companies FrieslandCampina Hellas S.A. and MANDREKAS S.A. The aforementioned companies infringed, in accordance with the reasons set out in the reasoning of the decision and for the period referred to in the latter, Article 1 par.1 of Greek Law 703/1977, as in force, and Article 81 EEC (now 101 TFEU), by participating in a prohibited horizontal market-sharing agreement.

On the basis of the reasoning of the decision, it is a cartel between a dairy farmer and a wholesaler, at least as regards the products concerned by the relevant market of the infringement, which exceptionally from the basic rule, is not vertical, but horizontal, in so far as it specifically concerned the non-simultaneous participation of both in public tenders,  a case in which both undertakings concerned operated as competitors and would have to decide autonomously in which public tenders to participate, even under the same mark.

In particular, communication and consultation had been agreed between FRIESLAND and Mr Mandeka's company prior to the submission of tenders for the supply of dairy products, mainly concentrated milk to public bodies, in order to exclude the possibility of submitting bids by both companies for FRIESLAND's trademark products (basically Frisian Cow and NOYNOY). According to the parties involved, their "informal agreement" included the prior consultation and consent of FRIESLAND for the participation of Mr Mandreka's company in the major tenders, and no consent was required for its participation in the small tenders.

For that infringement, they were fined a total of EUR 171,553.38.

Finally, it is noted that this is the first case where all the companies involved have been settled and at a stage without having previously been served with a relevant Statement, which increases the procedural efficiency to an absolute extent. For their cooperation and admission of the infringement, the Commission reduced the fines imposed on each company involved by 15%, in accordance with the provisions in force.
Judicial Means  Final. Decision has not been appealed.
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens(Administrative Division) -
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