Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Decision 781/2022

Decision on the review of HCC Decision 245/ΙΙΙ/2003 following the issue  of the Referral Decision No 1103/2017 of the Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens, pursuant to article 9 of L. 703/1977

Decision 781/2022

File (PDF) Decision 781/2022
Date of Issuance of Decision June 15th, 2022
Issue Number of Government Bulletin                                  
Relevant Market Μanagement and exploitation of intellectual property rights of authors in Greece

Subject of the Decision By its Decision no. 527/2016, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens referred the above case back to the Hellenic Competition Commission for review, according to article 9 of Law 703/1977, in so far as it concerns the establishment of infringements under article 2 of L. 703/1977
Legal Framework

Article 9 par. 1 and 2 of L. 703/1977
Article 25 Β par. 1 of L.3959/2011

Operative part of the Decision The Hellenic Competition Commission found that in the light of the applicable article 25 B par.1 of L. 3959/2011 on the ceiling of fines provided for by law (as a more favorable provision), the fine imposed on the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI) is zero, and that the imposition of other administrative measures pursuant to article 9 par. 1 of Law 703/1977 is regarded as irrelevant.
Company(ies) concerned

1) GREEK COMPOSERS’ UNION and natural persons
2) AEPI Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property SA

Summary of Decision

Summary of Decision The Hellenic Competition, Commission (HCC) meeting in Chamber, unanimously held that the declaration of AEPI’s bankruptcy does not per se exclude the capacity of the HCC to impose, after the declaration of bankruptcy, as well as in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, sanctions for breaches of competition law which relate, as in this case, to a period prior to the declaration of bankruptcy, during which the above undertaking was active and the facts underlying the infringement occurred. However, in view of the current stage of the bankruptcy proceedings, it is estimated that it would be impossible to collect any fine that might be imposed on AEPI pursuant to article 9 par. 1 of Law 703/1977.
In addition, the new provision of article 25 B par. 1 of Law 3959/2011, which is applicable in this case as more favorable than the former provision of article 9 par. 2 of Law 703/1977, provides for the calculation of the maximum amount of fine on the basis of a 10% of the company's aggregate global turnover in the financial year preceding the issue of the decision. Since AEPI was declared bankrupt on 18/06/2019, its aggregate global turnover during the year preceding the issue of the decision is zero. Therefore, no fine was imposed on AEPI.
Finally, the imposition by the HCC of any administrative measure pursuant to article 9 par. 1 (a-d) of Law 703/1977 is regarded in this case as irrelevant.

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