Wednesday, 05 April 2017 14:07

Decision 645/2017

Decision on the ex-officio investigation of the General-Directorate for Competition in the relevant market of cosmetics of high quality and price, following complaints of the company "NOTOS COM HOLDINGS SA" for possible violation of Αrticles 1 and 2 of the Greek law 703/77 (current Αrticles 1 and 2 of Greek Competition Act 3959/2011, as in force), i.e. infringements which have been left out of the settlement procedure. The settlement has already been adopted by the companies of HONTOS interests that deal with the Retail Trade.

Decision 645/2017
File (PDF) Decision 645/2017
Date of Publication of Decision April 5th 2017
Issue Number of Government Bulletin  
Relevant Market High Quality and Price Cosmetic Products
Proceedings Collusion
Legal Framework Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act 3959/2011
Decision Finding an infringement
Complainant Ex officio investigation
Respondent
  1. HONDOS PALACE DEPARTMENT STORES S.A.
  2. HONDOS CENTER S.A.
Summary of Decision

The Competition Commission in Plenary, in the context of an ex-officio investigation of the General Directorate of Competition in the relevant market of cosmetics of high quality and price, following the complaints of the company "NOTOS COM HOLDINGS SA" for possible violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the Greek law 703/77 (current Articles 1 and 2 of Greek Competition Act 3959/2011, as in force), i.e. infringements which have been left out of the settlement procedure that has already been adopted by the companies of HONTOS interests, decided that:

  • The horizontal agreement in question entails a restriction of competition by object within the HONDOSCENTER network of stores, focusing mainly on the formation of the level of retail prices and constitutes a per se infringement, as the companies of HONDOS’s interest (except for HONTOS PALACE which did not participate in the settlement) admit in the Settlement Proposals. The proposals were accepted by the Commissio, leading to the adoption of Decision no. 636/2017.
  • Regarding the electronic mail that circulates within the network of HONDOSCENTER stores, there is a collusion between the licensor, which sends the e-mails and the licensees - recipients of this e-mail.

For these reasons, the Competition Commission in Plenary decided the following:

I.Finds that the company HONTOS PALACE DEPARTMENT STORES SA violated Article 1 of Law 703/77, as in force, and Article 81 EEC (now 101 TFEU), by participating in a prohibited horizontal cartel for setting retail and exchange prices, for the period from 01.7.2003 to 30.06.2006.

II.Finds that the company HONDOS CENTER S.A. violated, Article 1 of law 703/77, as in force, as well as article 81 EC (already 101 TFEU) for the period from 01.7.2003 to 30.06.2006, due to its participation in a prohibited vertical cartel (pricing), based on the practices described above.

III. It obliges the aforementioned companies to omit in the future the violation found in the above reasoning of Article 1 of law 703/77, as it was in force, and of article 81 EC (already 101 TFEU).

IV. Imposes a fine for the violation of article 1 of law 703/77, as in force, as well as article 81 EC (already 101 TFEU) to the company HONTOS PALACE DEPARTMENT STORES SA amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand seven hundred twenty-six euros and seventy-seven cents (153,726.77 €).

V. It imposes, by majority, a recommendation on the company HONDOS CENTER S.A., so that in the future it does not send to its network directly or indirectly fixed resale prices, based on the above reasoning, violating article 1 of law 703/77, as in force, as well as article 81 EC (already 101 TFEU), for its participation in the vertical cartel described above.
Judicial Means Final. Decision has not been appealed.
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens(Administrative Division) -
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