Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Press Release - Dawn Raids in the Greek Press Distribution Market

Subject: Hellenic Competition Commission Dawn Raids in the Greek Press Distribution Market

On May 8th 2020, officials of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) carried out pre-planned unannounced on-site inspections in the premises of companies operating in the press distribution market, in the context of ex officioinvestigations, as well as following the HCC Decision no. 659/2018.

The inspections were carried out as part of the standard review undertaken in each case by the HCC, in the context of which the latter investigates the existence of anti-competitive practices that may fall under the provisions of the Greek Competition Act, as well as Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). These inspections were carried out in the context of the immediate prioritization of the ex officio investigation, especially as of September 2019. The investigation began in February 2019, was assigned to a Commissionaire on May 7th 2020,  and is expected to be completed in September 2020, ie in just 18 months, compared to the equivalent EU average time of completing similar investigations, which is 29 months.  For the HCC these cases as well as the completion of the compliance review of the company Argos SA with the operative part of the HCC Decision no. 687/2019 in the coming weeks are first priority, especially taking into account the viability issues faced by all companies in the press industry, which have been intensified during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These inspections are a preliminary step in the investigation of cases.

The fact that the HCC carries out inspections does not mean that the inspected undertakings have engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

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