Friday, 26 March 2021 10:40

Decision 731/2021

Decision following the complaint against companies active in the market for the provision of security services for infringement of articles 1 of former competitionL. 703/1977 and 1 of current L. 3959/2011, and 101 TFEU, which did not enter the settlement procedures that resulted in the HCC Decision 721/2020, and in particular against a) “MONDIALPOL HELLAS SECURITY SERVICES S.A.” and b) “ESA SECURITY SOLUTIONS S.A.”, as well as an ex-officio investigation of the Directorate-General  of Competition (DGC) in other entities active in the general sector for the provision of security services.

Decision 731/2021
File (PDF) Decision 731/2021
Date of Issuance of Decision

March 26th, 2021

Government Gazette Issue No Pending
Relevant Market

Provision of security services

Subject of the Decision

Cartel

Legal Framework

Articles 1 of L. 703/1977, L. 3959/2011 and 101 TFEU

Operative part of the Decision

The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), in plenary, decided unanimously, as follows:

  1. According to the reasoning of the Decision, it finds an infringement of articles 1 N. 3959/2011, 1 L. 703/1977 and 101 TFEU by the "SECURITY SERVICES TRADE ASSOCIATION”(SEEYA) for the period from 25.5.2009 to 06.09.2011.
  2. It rules that, by virtue of article 25 par. 2 of L. 3959/2011 on the maximum level of a fine, as laid down by law, the fine calculated for the participation of the "SECURITY SERVICES TRADE ASSOCIATION”(SEEYA) in the cartel is zero.
  3. It rules that the sole proprietorship business “KALOGERAKIS SECURITY” infringed articles 1 L. 3959/2011 and 1 L. 703/1977, for the period from 11.11.2010 to 12.4.2011.
  4. For the reasons set out in the Decision, it does not impose a fine on “KALOGERAKIS SECURITY”.
  5. Orders the "SECURITY SERVICES TRADE ASSOCIATION” and the sole proprietorship business “KALOGERAKIS SECURITY” to refrain in the future from committing the above referred infringements according to the Decision.
  6. Threatens the "SECURITY SERVICES TRADE ASSOCIATION” and the sole proprietorship business “KALOGERAKIS SECURITY” with a fine and a penalty payment in case it is established by HCC decision in the future, that they continue the infringements hereby found.
  7. According to the reasoning of the Decision, no infringement by the companies MONDIALPOL HELLAS SECURITY SERVICES S.A. and “ISS SECURITY S.A.” (now “ESA SECURITY SOLUTIONS S.A.”) is found regarding articles 1 L. 3959/2011 and 1 L. 703/1977.

Company(ies) concerned

  1. SECURITY SERVICES TRADE ASSOCIATION(SEEYA)
  2. KALOGERAKIS SECURITY
  3. MONDIALPOL HELLAS SECURITY SERVICES S.A.
  4. ESA SECURITY SOLUTIONS S.A (ISS SECURITY S.A)

Summary of Decision

According to the reasoning of the HCC’s Decision, SEEYA, through the Sectoral Collective Agreements ("SCAs") of 2009 and 2010, aimed at fixing the price of the security services provided, by arranging the profit of the employers-members of the association and causing distortion of price competition in the market for tenders for security services. It becomes obvious that this anti-competitive action of SEEYA had as its object the distortion of competition in breach of articles 1 par. 1 L. 3959/2011, 1 par. 1 L. 703/1977 and 101 TFEU.

There was also evidence of an exchange of information concerning, in particular, financial bids between the companies that participated in the settlement procedure and the sole proprietorship business KALOGERAKIS SECURITY, in the context of their participation in tenders launched in the years 2010 and 2011. The above bids, which were the object of the information exchange under consideration, compared with the data obtained respective tendering authorities with regard to the bidding process, entirely matched the final bids submitted by the companies under investigation. In particular, the tendering procedures were distorted by the undertakings in question, through the exchange of information and the consequent submission of cover bids by the sole proprietorship businessKALOGERAKIS SECURITY, with the pre-agreed aim that a specific company of those participating in the settlement procedure would be awarded with the tendered project under conditions of apparently healthy competition.

In the context of this case, in addition to the bid-rigging practices adopted by the sole proprietorship business KALOGERAKIS SECURITY, the HCC also investigated, the conduct of the companies that entered the settlement procedure, ESA SECURITY SOLUTIONS S.A. and MONDIALPOL HELLAS SECURITY SERVICES S.A., in the context of two (2) more tenders concerning public procurement contracts during the period 2009 -2010, with regard to their compatibility with the provisions of articles 1 of L. 703/1977 and L. 3959/2011. The HCC ruled that there was insufficient evidence that their practices were in conflict with the provisions of articles 1 of Law 703/1977 and / or Law 3959/2011. In particular, it was noted that the Authority’s investigation did not bring forward any evidence of the alleged unlawful concerted practices aiming at the submission of matched bids in the tenders referred to in the complaint.
Judicial Means

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Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division)

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