Friday, 24 April 2015 08:29

Decision 610/2015

Decision concerning the ex officio investigation, following the preliminary decision No 453/V/2009 of the HCC, for the examination of possible infringement of articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/1977 (current articles 1 and 2 of Law 3959/2011), as well as articles 81 and 82 of TEU (current art. 101 & 102 TFEU), by the companies «COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A.», «COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD» and by companies of retail and wholesale of supermarket products.   In particular, according to the confidential Statement of Objections (SO), the companies «COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A.», «COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD» and «COLGATE-PALMOLIVE Co» infringed articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/1977 (current Law 3959/2011) as well as articles 81 and 82 of TEU (current art. 101 & 102 TFEU), for the period 1999-2008. In addition, according to the SO, articles 1 of L. 703/77 (current Law 3959/2011) and 81 and 82 of TEU (current art. 101 & 102 TFEU) were infringed by the supermarket chains KYPSELI S.A. (2001-2004), ALPHA-VETA VASILOPOULOS S.A. (2006-2007), SKLAVENITIS S.A. (2006), MAKRO CASH & CARRY S.A. (2006-2008) and PENTE S.A. (2006-2007).

Decision 610/2015
File (PDF) Decision 610/2015
Date of Publication of Decision April 24th, 2015
Issue Number of Government Bulletin
Relevant Market Laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric softeners, cleansers, cosmetics, oral care products
Subject of the Decision Concerted practices, Abuse of a dominant position
Legal Framework Articles 1 and 2 L. 3959/2011
Operative part of the Decision Finding of infringement
Complainant(s)

Ex officio investigation

Respondent(s) 1. COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A.
2. COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD
3. COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY
4. KYPSELI S.A.
5. ALPHA-VETA VASILOPOULOS S.A.
6. SKLAVENITIS S.A.
7. MAKRO CASH & CARRY S.A.
8. PENTE S.A.
Summary of Decision

Following an ex officio investigation carried out by the Directorate General for Competition, the Plenary of the HCC unanimously decided that the companies of the Group COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A. and COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD και η μητρική εταιρία COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY (decision adopted by majority) had signed agreements which included terms which limited parallel imports into the Greek territory, both for detergent products and widely distributed cosmetics in breach of articles 1 of L. 703/1977 (now article 1 of L. 3959/2011) and 81 EC Treaty (now 101 TFEU). The above infringement was also (unanimously) attributed to the Greek undertakings operating in the wholesale and retail of supermarket goods (ALPHA-VETA VASILOPOULOS S.A, SKLAVENITIS S.A., MAKRO CASH & CARRY S.A., PENTE S.A. and KYPSELI S.A.).

Furthermore, the same (unanimous) Decision finds that the above companies of the Group COLGATE – PALMOLIVE [COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A. and COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD] and their parent company COLGATE-PALMOLIVE Co (by majority) abused their dominant position in the Greek market with regard to glass cleaners, by introducing and maintaining the contractual limitation of parallel imports in contracts with their customers in that relevant market for glass cleaners, in breach of articles 2 of L. 703/1977 (now article 2 of L. 3959/2011) and 2 EC Treaty (now 102 TFEU).

On the basis of the above assumptions, the Competition Commission imposed jointly and severally a fine on the companies COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A, COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD and COLGATE PALMOLIVE COMPANY totaling € 8.671.267 for the infringement found consisting in the limitation of parallel imports into the Greek territory and € 747.518 for the above infringement found consisting in the abuse of their dominant position with regard to the specific detergent, in breach of articles 2 of L. 703/1977 (now article 2 of L. 3959/2011) and 82 EC Treaty (now 102 TFEU).

The Competition Commission also imposed a separate fine for the infringement of articles 1 of L. 703/1977 (now article 1 of L. 3959/2011) and 81 EC Treaty (now 101 TFEU) on the companies: i. ALPHA-VETA VASILOPOULOS S.A, totaling € 474.714, ii. SKLAVENITIS S.A., totaling € 213.297, MAKRO CASH & CARRY S.A., totaling € 183.330, PENTE S.A., totaling € 143.922 and KYPSELI S.A., totaling € 1.944.  Finally, it imposed jointly and severally on the companies COLGATE-PALMOLIVE (HELLAS) S.A. and COLGATE-PALMOLIVE EMPORIKI (HELLAS) SOLE PARTNER LTD a fine totaling € 400.000 for the infringement found, according to the grounds of the decision, of article 25 par. 2 of L. 703/7, for providing inaccurate and incomplete information during the conduct of the ex-officio investigation.

Judicial Means Under appeal
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division) DEA 2572/2018 2572/2018DEA 2574/2018 2574/2018DEA 2578/2018
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