Thursday, 01 April 2021

Press Release - Statement of Objections in relation to alleged infringements in the Greek market of cooling and heating systems

Subject: Statement of Objections in relation to alleged infringements of Articles 1 of Law 3959/2011 and 101 TFEU in the Greek market of cooling and heating systems/ appliances, following an ex officio investigation of the HCC’s General Directorate for Competition 

The Plenary Session of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) will convene on 25 May 2021 to examine, upon the relevant Statement of Objections, alleged infringements of Article 1 of Law 3959/2011 (“Greek Competition Act”) and/ or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (“TFEU”) (where relevant) by companies active in the supply of cooling and heating systems/ appliances (and in particular in the markets concerning respectively air conditioning systems, heating boilers and other heating appliances, as well as water heaters), following an ex officio investigation by the HCC’s General Directorate for Competition (“GDC”) in the aforementioned markets in Greece. 

According to the Statement of Objections, the HCC is advised to find an infringement of Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and/ or Article 101 TFEU (where relevant) by the following companies: 

  5. “IQ SOLAR IKE”; 
  7. “MAVIL SA”; 
  8. “D. MAVROGENIS SA”; and 
  9. “F.G. EUROPE SA”. 

In particular, according to the SO, in light of the evidence collected in the course of dawn raids carried out by the GDC as well as from other measures of inquiry, it is established that the above-mentioned companies (which act as wholesalers/ importers/ manufacturers in the broader sector of domestic heating and cooling systems and appliances) have adopted, at different intervals each during the period from 2011 until today, practices relating to online resale price maintenance (RPM) in the context of vertical agreements with their retailers. 

In view of the above findings, it is suggested that the HCC shall impose a fine upon the above-mentioned companies; that the latter be required to omit similar practices in the future, to the extent that such practices are still in force; and that the above-mentioned companies be threatened with a fine, in case the HCC decides in the future that the above-mentioned infringements continue or are repeated.

It is noted that the Statement of Objections is not binding on the HCC, which will decide on the case after it has taken into consideration all evidence, as well as the arguments put forward by all implicated parties.

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