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The GVH terminated its proceeding relating to the conduct of Sanofi-Aventis

The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) established in the course of its investigation into the conduct of Sanofi-Aventis Magyarország Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Zrt. (Sanofi-Aventis) that there was no clear evidence of significant adverse consequences to consumers and that the continuation of the investigation was unlikely to lead to results; consequently, the authority terminated its proceedings.

The GVH initiated proceedings against Sanofi-Aventis for the suspected abuse of a dominant position in July 2014 because the GVH became aware of the fact that Sanofi-Aventis had refused to conclude a contract concerning the distribution of pharmaceuticals with a pharmaceutical wholesaler undertaking. Sanofi-Aventis distributes numerous pharmaceuticals that are essential for maintaining a competitive supply portfolio of pharmaceutical wholesalers and it can be presumed that Sanofi-Aventis has a dominant position on the relevant markets of these pharmaceuticals. Based on this presumption, it was suspected that Sanofi-Aventis placed – without justification – certain groups of the market participants in a disadvantageous position against the incumbent market participants i.e. those already present on the market. It was also suspected that when Sanofi-Aventis was selecting its pharmaceutical wholesaler partners it was adopting a practice that was not based on an assessment of the anticipated and actual economic gains resulting from the business relation in question.

In accordance with the Hungarian and the European competition law enforcement practice, harm to consumers’ interests is the precondition of the intervention of the competition authority. In other words, competition law serves to ensure effective competition and benefits for consumers and is not aimed at protecting the mere existence of market players.

However, on the basis of the data gathered in the course of the competition supervision proceeding, there was no clear evidence that the conduct of Sanofi-Aventis could result in significant adverse consequences for consumers, and the GVH therefore terminated its proceeding.

Case number: Vj/61/2014.

Budapest, 18 April 2017.

Hungarian Competition Authority

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email:
press@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

Further information:
GVH Customer Service
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8851
Email:
http://www.gvh.hu

 

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The Hungarian Competition Authority quantifies the benefits of its activities again

In the period between 2010 and 2016 consumers saved approximately 136 billion HUF thanks to the activity of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH). The GVH has published, for the third time, an economic analysis to sum up the financial benefits that consumers have received as a result of the protection of competition.

The calculation is based on the price constraining effect of competition: the intervention of the GVH in thwarting anticompetitive conducts and mergers saves the consumers the additional expenditure that they would otherwise face in the absence of such intervention. The methodology, which has previously been reviewed by independent experts, follows the practices of developed countries’ competition authorities, and also relies on the OECD guide on ex-ante impact assessment.

The above-mentioned sum, which shows the consumer savings at 2017 value, is based on a conservative estimation. It considered that, without the intervention of the GVH, for a period of two years the prices would be higher by 5-10 per cent in the case of products and services which are affected by cartels, restrictive conducts and mergers which lead to a significant reduction of competition.

The analysis does not cover the gains achieved from the GVH’s other activities (which include, among others the consumer protection proceedings) or the deterrence effect of proceedings.

The GVH’s calculation clearly shows that the activity of the GVH brings significant savings for society and consumers, savings which significantly exceed the government budget expenditures which were devoted to the GVH.

The full analysis can be found on the GVH’s website.

Budapest, 12 April 2017

Hungarian Competition Authority

 

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email:
press@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

 

Further information:
GVH Customer Service
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8851
Email:
http://www.gvh.hu

 

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Two SMEs violated Community law – the GVH imposed a fine because of price fixing

The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) established that Óceán-L Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Óceán-L Kft.) and Hüperion Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Hüperion Kft.) had entered into an anticompetitive agreement for the period between July 2014 and April 2015, concerning the fixing of minimum internet resale prices of Laddomat boiler filling units. The GVH imposed a fine of some 1.2 million HUF on the two undertakings for the infringement.

The investigation of the GVH uncovered that Óceán-L Kft., as the importer of the products, had prompted its trading partners via email to utilise its recommended minimum internet resale prices. Hüperion Kft. complied with the incitement and adjusted its prices to the recommended minimum.

When setting the base amount of the fine, the GVH took into account the revenues of the two undertakings which stemmed from the sales between July 2014 and April 2015 of the three types (21-60, 11-30 and 21-100) of Laddomat boiler fillers involved in the proceeding.

When calculating the fine, the GVH evaluated – among others – the following aggravating factors:

  • price fixing qualifies as a hard-core restriction within vertical agreements;

  • the two undertakings did in fact implement the agreement.

The GVH took into account, as a mitigating circumstance, that both operators have small market shares in the concerned market, and that the gains of the infringement could not be quantified.

A successful settlement negotiation with Hüperion Kft. was conducted during the proceeding; consequently, the GVH reduced the fine imposed on it by 25%. The GVH may, within the so-called settlement procedure, reward an undertaking that admits to an infringement and that waives certain procedural rights, by granting a 30% reduction of the fine imposed – instead of the former 10%.

The GVH terminated the proceeding

  • as regards the investigation pursuant to the Hungarian Competition Act, since the exact market shares could not be determined and it was therefore not possible to establish, nor exclude, that the agreement was of minor importance;

  • against Atmos Energia Kft., H+H Com. Kft., K4K-KER Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Szol-Therm Épületgépészeti Kft. and Naturtherm Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft.-vel pursuant to Community law, given the fact that they did not respond to or openly refuse to comply with Óceán-L Kft.’s call, and that it also could not be proven that Óceán-L Kft.’s call to utilise minimum internet resale prices played a role in the setting of their own internet prices via other means.

Case number: Vj/104/2014.

Budapest, 21 March 2017.

Hungarian Competition Authority

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email:

http://www.gvh.hu

Further information:
GVH Customer Service
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8851
Email:
http://www.gvh.hu

 

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The GVH imposed a fine due to the partial implementation of a merger without authorisation

The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – The Hungarian Competition Authority) authorised the acquisition by TRANZIT-KER Kereskedelmi Zrt. (Tranzit-Ker) and Tranzit-Food Baromfifeldolgozó és Élelmiszeripari Kft. (Tranzit-Food) of certain equipment and real estate in the possession of undertakings and private persons (Chicken Branch). The GVH imposed a fine of 1 800 000 HUF on the above-mentioned acquiring undertakings for partly implementing the transaction before obtaining the authorisation of the GVH.

Tranzit-Ker and Tranzit-Food, which belong to the Tranzit-group, are mainly active in the field of breeding (partly on their own sites, partly in the form of commissioned breeding), slaughtering, processing, packaging and sale of lean waterfowl of the poultry industry (lean goose and roast duck).

Due to the transaction, Chicken Branch became a part of the Tranzit-group, which deals with waterfowl.

Based on an assessment of the scope of activities and market positions of the parties involved, the GVH established that the merger did not bear anticompetitive effects and therefore authorised it. However, it was later established that Tanzit-Ker and Tranzit-Food had in fact already partly implemented the merger before the GVH’s authorisation had been granted.

Consequently, the GVH imposed a fine on the above-mentioned undertakings for their partial implementation of the merger before the authorisation of the GVH had been obtained, contrary to the prohibition of implementation contained in the Competition Act. The GVH established that certain equipment related to breeding chickens had already come into the possession of the Tranzit-group before the authorisation of the GVH had been granted.

Case number: Vj/13/2017.

Budapest, 14 March 2017.

Hungarian Competition Authority

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: ,
http://www.gvh.hu

Further information:
GVH Costumer Service
tel: (+36-1) 472-8851
e-mail:
http://www.gvh.hu

 


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The GVH did not authorise the acquisition of Central Digitális Média Kft.

The Media Council of Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság (NMHH – National Media and Infocommunications Authority) refused to give its special administrative approval; consequently, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – The Hungarian Competition Authority) prohibited the merger between Magyar RTL Televízió Zrt. and Central Digitális Média Kft.

On 15 October 2016 Magyar RTL Televízió Zrt. submitted an application form for the authorisation of a concentration, in order to be able to gain 30% of the shares and controlling rights in Central Digitális Média Kft., an undertaking operating in the market of online content provision and advertising.

Pursuant to the provisions of the media law (Act CLXXXV of 2010 on Media Services and Mass Communication), the GVH must ask for a special administrative resolution from the Media Council of the NMHH.

The Media Council of the NMHH refused to give its approval in its special administrative resolution of 24 January 2017 regarding RTL Klub, www.rtl.hu/rtlklub, www.rtl.hu/most, which are media products of the Bertelsmann-group; as well as startlap.hu, 24.hu, NLCafé, HaziPatika.com, Vezess.hu, Hírstart.hu, which are media products of CDM. As regards Citromail.hu mailing service and SegmentAd e-mail database, it established that it does not have special administrative competence.

Pursuant to the relevant provisions of the media law, the GVH is bound by the resolution of the Media Council refusing the special administrative approval; therefore the GVH prohibited the transaction.

The special administrative resolution may be appealed via legal remedy against the decision to terminate the proceeding, as the special administrative resolution may not be appealed separately on its own.

Case number: Vj/87/2016.

Budapest, 20 February 2017.

Hungarian Competition Authority

Further information for the press:

Andrea BASA

Spokesperson

Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest

Tel: +36 1 4728902

Mobile: +36 30 6186618

Email: basa.andrea@gvh.hu, press@gvh.hu

http://www.gvh.hu

Further information:

GVH Inquiries

Tel: (+36-1) 472-8851

e-mail: inquiries@gvh.hu

http://www.gvh.hu

 

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