Friday, 07 October 2022

Press Release - Banking charges: Case prioritization and assignment to a Commissioner-Rapporteur

Subject: Case prioritization and assignment to a Commissioner-Rapporteur – banking charges

The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) on October 6, 2022, decided to prioritize and assign to a Commissioner-Rapporteur the in-depth investigation of potential anti-competitive practices in the banking sector, pursuant to Article 15 of Law no. 3959/2011 (the “Competition Act”).  The HCC’s ex officio investigation concerns the markets for retail and business banking, card issuing and acquiring, interbanking systems, payment services and electronic transactions.  It examines potential agreements or concerted practices among competitors under Articles 1 of the Competition Act and 101 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as potential abusive practices under Articles 2 of the Competition Act and 102 TFEU.  It 

In the context of this investigation, officials of the Directorate-General for Competition (DGC) on November 7, 2019 conducted dawn raids at the premises of undertakings active in the sector.  

Legal framework

The HCC is responsible for enforcing Greek and EU antitrust rules in the Greek territory (Articles 1 and 2 of the Competition Act and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU). 

  • Articles 1 of the Competition Act and 101 TFEU prohibit anti-competitive agreements between undertakings (agreements, decisions of associations of undertakings or concerted practices) that have as their object or effect the restriction of competition.
  • Articles 2 of the Competition Act and 102 TFEU prohibit the abuse of a dominant position.

Next steps

The assignment of a case to a Rapporteur triggers the time-limits of Article 15 par. 4 and 5 of Law 3959/2011 and does not prejudge the content of the Statement of Objections or the HCC’s Decision.  The statutory time-limit is only indicative, and the duration of the antitrust investigation depends, inter alia, on its complexity, the size of the case file as well as the number and degree of cooperation of the undertakings involved.

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