Thursday, 06 October 2022 13:18

Press Release - HCC Decision on complaints against SARANTIS S.A

Subject: HCC Decision on three complaints against SARANTIS S.A for alleged infringements of Αrticles 1 and 2 Greek Law 3959/2011 and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU

With its Decision No 765/2022, the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) in plenary rejected the complaints for alleged infringements of articles 1 and 2 of Law 3959/2011 as unfounded and therefore found that there is no need for further action in the present case under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.

Procedure

The respective complaints were filed in October 2015. In order to investigate the alleged infringements, the HCC Directorate General for Competition carried out a series of investigative measures (dawn raids at SARANTIS premises, questionnaires to the complainants, etc.).

The investigation focused on possible infringements which according to the complaints included: 

  • obligations to follow promotional activities,
  • imposition of discounts,
  • indirect fixing of prices and profit margins,
  • obligation to purchase specific quantities and maintain a specific stock,
  • obligation not to handle competing products,
  • obligation to install specific software,
  • obligation to resell within a specific territory, and 
  • exclusive supply obligations.

The SO was issued in July 2021 and the hearing before the HCC Plenary took place in September 2021.

Relevant market

Household products in the Greek territory and in particular: drain pipe cleaners, shoe care, cling film, non-stick paper, aluminium foil and anti-moth products.

Widely distributed cosmetics in the Greek territory and in particular: slimming products, women's perfumes, men's perfumes and sunscreens.

HCC Decision

With its Decision No 765/2022 the HCC in plenary unanimously rejected the complaints as unfounded. 

SARANTIS is a company active in the import, production and distribution with an extensive portfolio of products, which includes (amongst others) cosmetics, sanitary products, cleaning products and food packaging products. The relevant product markets for the purposes of the present case include the markets in which the products sold by SARANTIS are distributed by wholesalers in the “small market”, since this was the subject-matter of the complaints. These products can be included in two general categories, that of household products and that of widely distributed cosmetics.

Of the above relevant markets, SARANTIS holds a dominant position in the following markets:

a) drain pipe cleaners for the period 2004 - 2014,

b) shoe care products for the period 2004 - 2014,

c) widely distributed women's perfumes at least for the period 2011-2014 and

d) widely distributed men's perfumes at least for the period 2011 - 2014.

In this case, the conditions for establishing abusive sales target discounts and the other alleged abusive practices are not met.

Furthermore, the conditions for establishing resale price fixing, purchase allocation/restriction of passive sales and the other alleged practices are not met.

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