Mediafax (Mediafax)
Czech markets  |  September 16, 2010 15:26:01

District Court struck down hundreds of millions of gas stations fined for cartel


Mediafax

BRNO (MEDIAFAX) - The Regional Court in Brno on Thursday annulled the decision of the President of the Office for Protection of Competition (OPC) a fine of 313 million crowns, which in 2004 received a cartel of six "gas company". Informed about the judge Petr Sebek.

"The regional court annulled the decision of the President Office, without considering the actual merits of the dispute. The decision in the proceedings because he was bound by the Supreme Administrative Court, which in previous proceedings in this matter clearly expressed transition to tort liability," Sebek said.

The Supreme Administrative Court judgment of 2009 stated that the legal successor to punish the infringer can only be competitive if the offender to termination offense attempted to circumvent the competition rules. As stated by the Supreme Administrative Court, to allow it to be a matter of possible abuse of rights built for sure, the Office must determine "under what conditions was investigated demise of a competitor, and perform detailed analysis of tangible and intangible components, which are extinct and the successor entity to participate in competition. "

"According to the regional court of inquiry is required in this regard, a major addition, which the court if it conducted, replacing the Office's activities. This is not a fundamental right," said the judge.

The Regional Court President of the contested decision is annulled office. It also committed the Office to determine whether the disappearance of entities and the rule of succession occurred. Another reason for the annulment of an administrative decision, the court was that the President of the Office properly grappled with all rozkladovými objections.

Things will now revisit the Office for Protection of Competition.

Petrol company Agip Prague, Aral CR, Benzina, Czech Republic ConocoPhillips, OMV and Shell Czech Republic Czech Republic should, according to the Office in the period from 28 5th 2001 to 30 11th 2001 determining the practices of Natural 95 petrol prices at their petrol stations. For them the Office imposed fines ranging from 20 million to 98 million CZK, a total of 313 million.

Libor Popel, popela@mediafax.cz

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