Friday, 18 March 2022 10:51

Decision 772/2022

Decision issuance, following the relevant Statement of Objections no 2202/08.03.2022 by the case Rapporteur, Panagiotis Fotis, on the ex officio investigation carried out into tenders, in particular of PPC-HEDNO, OTE et al., for the procurement of impregnated wooden poles, cross-arms etc., in order to determine whether the conditions for the application of the provisions of Article 1 of L. 3959/2011 on the “Protection of Free Competition”, as in force, and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) are met,  following the Settlement submissions by the companies i) DRITSA-KAGLI S.A, ii) ELVIEX G.P. PANAGIOTOU S. AND ETETH S.A, iii) KIRIAKOS & NIKOLAOS HARAKIDIS S.A. - WOOD TRADING AND PROCESSING S.A. and iv) KIRIAKOS EMPORIADIS SINGLE-MEMBER PRIVATE COMPANY

Decision 772/2022

File (PDF) Decision 772/2022
Date of Issuance of Decision March 18th2022
Issue Number of Government Bulletin
Relevant Market

Market for the procurement of impregnated poles, which includes the market for impregnation of non-impregnated poles (impregnation service) and the marketing of impregnated poles for electricity or telecommunication facilities 

Subject of the Decision Decision issuance, following the relevant Statement of Objections no 2202/08.03.2022 by the case Rapporteur, Panagiotis Fotis, according to Article 29A of L. 3959/2011 and HCC Decision no 704/2020, on the ex officio investigation carried out into tenders, in particular of PPC-HEDNO, OTE et al., for the procurement of impregnated wooden poles, cross-arms etc., in order to determine whether the conditions for the application of the provisions of Article 1 of L. 3959/2011 on the “Protection of Free Competition”, as in force, and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) are met.
Legal Framework

Article 29A L. 3959/2011 and HCC Decision no 704/2020. Article 29A was added with article 29 L.4886 / 2022, Government Gazette A` 12 / 24.01.2022.

Operative part of the Decision

The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), in plenary, unanimously adopted the following decision, which provides as follows: 

  1. Finds that the companies i) DRITSA-KAGLI S.A, ii) ELVIEX G.P. PANAGIOTOU S. AND ETETH S.A, iii) KIRIAKOS & NIKOLAOS HARAKIDIS S.A. - WOOD TRADING AND PROCESSING S.A. and iv) KIRIAKOS EMPORIADIS SINGLE-MEMBER PRIVATE COMPANY infringed, according to the grounds of the decision, Article 1 of L. 3959/2011 and 101 TFEU in prohibited horizontal bid-rigging cartels through various practices as outlined above, in the context of the simplified Settlement Procedure.
  2. Orders the aforementioned companies to bring to an end, if they have not already done so, and to refrain from the infringements established in the above reasoning of articles 1 of Law 3959/2011 and 101 TFEU in the future.
  3. Imposes the fines detailed above on the undertakings involved in the infringements found of articles 1 of L. 3959/2011 and 101 TFEU, according to the grounds of the decision, namely a fine of one hundred and eight thousand nine hundred eighty-eight (108.988) euros on DRITSA-KAGLI S.A, fine of one hundred and twenty-nine thousand five hundred seventy-one (129.571) euros on ELVIEX, a fine of fifty- five thousand sixty-seven (55.067) euros on για την KNC S.A. and a fine of twenty-three thousand one hundred seventy-two (23.172) euros on BIONRGWOOD SINGLE MEMBER PC.
Company(ies) concerned

  • DRITSA-KAGLI S.A 
  • ELVIEX 
  • KNC S.A.
  • BIONRGWOOD SINGLE MEMBER PC
Summary of Decision

According to the grounds of the HCC’s Decision, the parties involved participated in a horizontal anti-competitive cartel in the form of an agreement / concerted practice between undertakings within the meaning of art. 1(1) of Law 3959/2011 and 10(1) TFEU. In particular, all the companies involved participated in a bid-rigging scheme concerning the tenders at issue, defining the framework of their joint action, according to which they preventively reduced the uncertainty implied by independent competitive behavior. The purpose of the above scheme was the artificial shaping of the bids at levels different from those in which they would have been shaped under conditions of effective competition. In particular, they have entered into (a) an agreement / concerted practice aiming at fixing prices and quantities and (b) an exchange of competitors' sensitive commercial information, in particular on prices and quantities.

The above practices present the characteristics of a single and continuous infringement, as they are part of a broader bid-rigging scheme in tenders for public works aiming, in particular, at fixing the prices and quantities of the intended bids, while it is noted that the individual agreements / concerted practices concluded / adopted during the years 2016-2018, had temporal continuity and common characteristics, i.e. characterised by same objectives, methods and stakeholders (same object and subjects). In this context, the members of the cartel have adopted a complex of anti-competitive practices as described above. This conduct, seen as a whole, constitutes an agreement/concerted practice between undertakings within the meaning of art. 1(1) of Law 3959/2011 and 10(1) TFEU.

Judicial Means -
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division) -
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