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Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

Decision 590/2014

Decision concerning the ex-officio investigation on the beer market to examinepossible infringement of Article 2 of former L. 703/1977 and current  L.3959/2011, as well as of Article 82 of former EC Treaty, Article 102 of current TFEU following a thecomplaint(ref. no. 8461/29.12.2006)submitted by “Mythos Brewery S.A.”against the “Athenian Brewery S.A.”for infringement of article 2 of former L. 703/1977.

Decision 590/2014
File (PDF) Decision 590/2014
Date of Publication of Decision September 19th , 2014
Issue Number of Government Bulletin
Relevant Market

Beer products

Subject of the Decision

Abuse of Dominant Position

Legal Framework

Article 2 L. 3959/2015

Operative part of the Decision

Finding an infringement

Complainant(s)

Ex-officio investigation

Respondent(s)

Athenian Brewery S.A

Summary of Decision

The case of the “Athenian Brewery S.A.”took place following a complaint submitted by “Mythos Brewery S.A.”against the “Athenian Brewery S.A.”and an ex-officio investigation of the HCC on the beer market for infringement of article 2 of former L.703/1977 (article 2 of current L.3959/2011) and 102 TFEU. In this case, the HCCin Plenary decided that the company Athenian Brewery, mainly active in the production and marketing of beer products, abused its dominant position, thereby infringing Article 2 of former L. 703/1977 (article 2 of current L.3959/2011) and article 102 TFEU, and imposed, unanimously, a fine of €31.451.211 in total.

Evidence from the Commission’s thorough investigation showed that the Athenian Brewery SA had adopted and implemented for a lengthy period  a distinct and targeted policy to exclude and limit the growth potential of its competitors, mainly by imposing exclusivity at the wholesale and retail level sales, but also through other practices, which had the cumulative effect of restricting competition in relevant markets for the distribution and supply of beer products. More specifically, the Athenian Brewery’ commercial policy included, among other things, practices aimed to establish exclusivity at the instant consumption market / on premises consumption (big clients, catering chains and other small endpoints) by imposing exclusivity terms/ unavailability of competing products or the grantingto customers of significant financial or other incentives under the conditions of exclusivity or/and restriction of supplies by competing suppliers. The Athenian Brewery SA also imposed restrictive practices to wholesalers, such as providing them with significant financial incentives and preferential credit terms in exchange of restricting their supplies by competitors. In addition to imposing a fine, the HCC obliged the Athenian Brewery to omit similar actions in the future and to draw up written contracts in order to avoid a repetition of such anti-competitive behaviors.

Judicial Means  Appeal.
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division) ACAA  62/2016, ACAA 4055/2017