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Suspected cartel on the concrete production market

On 9 June 2011 the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) launched a competition procedure against Betonpartner Magyarország Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Cemex Hungária Építőanyagok Kft., DBK-Földgép Építési Kft., Frissbeton Betongyártó és Forgalmazó Kft. , Holcim Hungária Cementipari Zrt. and TBG Hungária-Beton Befektető, Gyártó és Forgalmazó Kft. The investigation was initiated with an unannounced inspection held by the GVH on the premises of the undertakings under investigation.

According to the available data, the GVH presumes that the management of the undertakings concerned and their predecessors, engaged in the production and distribution of ready-mix concrete, constantly held negotiations with the aim of setting prices on the market among themselves concerning the period from 2005 to 2007. The other goal of the above-mentioned negotiations was presumably to share the customers among themselves in line with the existing market shares.

The GVH suspects that the undertakings under investigation have presumably violated, by this conduct, the provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act with regard to the prohibition of restrictive agreements.

The GVH is empowered by the Competition Act to inspect premises without any preliminary notification. Pursuant to the provisions of the Competition Act the inspection of premises is subject to the attainment in advance of a judicial authorisation.

The initiation of the competition supervision proceeding does not mean that the undertakings in question have actually committed the infringement. The proceeding seeks to clarify the facts and to thus prove that the presumed infringement has been committed. According to the Act these proceedings must be closed within 6 months, however, this time limit can be extended two times by a further 6 months, depending on the complexity of the case.

Case number: Vj-29/2011

Budapest, 20 June 2011

Hungarian Competition Authority
Communication Group

Further information:
Hungarian Competition Authority
Mail: 1054 Budapest, V. ker. Alkotmány u.5.
Postal address: 1245 Budapest, 5. Pf. 1036
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8902