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Authorised acquisition of control over Opimus

The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, Hungarian Competition Authority) has authorised in its decision the acquisition of control by Konzum Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt. (Konzum Investment), Konzum Management Kft. (Konzum Management) and Lőrinc Mészáros over Opimus Group Nyrt. (Opimus).

The undertakings applying for authorisation of the concentration from the GVH, Konzum Investment and Konzum Management, which are members of an undertaking group under the control of Gellért Jászai, together with Lőrinc Mészáros acting as a private person, acquire more than fifty per cent of ownership and joint control over Opimus within the framework of the transaction investigated.

The GVH launched a competition supervision procedure in order to investigate the transaction on the basis of the information provided in the notification form, which led the GVH to the conclusion that it required the opinion of the Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság Médiatanács (the Media Council) as the competent authority given the fact the Mészáros-group and the Opimus-group have editorial responsibility in transmitting media content to the general public. Médiatanács terminated its procedure due to a lack of competence to proceed.

When assessing the horizontal effects of the concentration the GVH examined the identical (cross-over) activities of the undertaking-groups concerned – the Jászai-group, the Mészáros-group and the Opimus-group – and established that the market share of each undertaking-group was under 10 per cent in the markets of selling advertising space, commercial real estate, hotel services and building industry services; consequently, harmful horizontal effects could be excluded. The GVH also did not identify any harmful vertical or portfolio effects as the market shares of the groups concerned did not reach the threshold required to jeopardise competition in the related markets either.

Considering all of the above-mentioned, the GVH established that the joint acquisition of control of Konzum Investment, Konzum Management and Lőrinc Mészáros over Opimus Group would not significantly decrease competition in the markets concerned.

Case number: Vj/26/2017.

Budapest, 21 June 2017

Hungarian Competition Authority

Information for the press
Andrea BASA, Spokesperson
H-1054 Budapest, Alkotmány u. 5.
Tel.: (+36-1) 472-8902
Fax: (+36-1) 472-8898
Mobile: +3630 618-6618
Email: basa.andrea@gvh.hu
sajto@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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Consumer protection in the digital economy, more efficient merger procedures, cooperation with undertakings

A number of current hot topics of competition law, such as the challenges created by the digital economy, the renewed merger regime and the opportunities for cooperation with the competition authority, were presented and discussed at the joint event of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) and the Hungarian Competition Law Association.

In the opening speech of the Hungarian Competition Law Forum, which has now been held for the second time, Juhász Miklós, President of the Hungarian Competition Authority announced that the authority is paying close attention to the phenomena of digital space, with particular regard to their consumer protection aspects. The GVH has been focusing on three main topics this year: addressing the questions arising in connection with the data-based economy through the use of a number of tools available to the competition authority, the client-friendly management of the growing number of merger processes, and the feasible cooperation opportunities existing between the GVH and SMEs.

In his opening presentation, Hegymegi-Barakonyi Zoltán, the president of the Hungarian Competition Law Association highlighted that the digital revolution has led to a paradigm shift in most markets and industries, and also to the creation of new challenges for competition authorities. He stated that it is crucial that law enforcement authorities apply the rules prohibiting competition restriction in competition cases in a way that does not hinder, but rather promotes, the development of technology.

In his introductory presentation the keynote speaker of the conference, Andreas Mundt, President of the German Federal Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) focused on big data and the data-based economy related anti-competitive behaviours, illustrating with examples cases where data protection and unfair terms of contract issues may be relevant from a competition law perspective.

With the moderation of Paul Csiszár, Director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition, members of the panel on changes in the merger regime agreed that the purpose of the renewed procedure is to accelerate concentrations which are non-problematic from a competition point of view. The panel also dealt with how the competition authority could proceed more efficiently in those concentration cases that raise competition concerns.

Michiel Denkers, the director of Dutch Competition Authority, spoke in his presentation about the problem solving approach that the Dutch authority applies to market supervision, and how agency effectiveness may be enhanced by using different tools and by creating a culture of cooperation with defendants. Based on the competition law case law of the European Union, Barna Berke, judge of the EU General Court presented about the continuous discussion that is taking place concerning the nature and intensity of judicial review, explaining that although most of the cases of the EU General Court are not competition cases, but the General Court still plays a significant role, when it makes assessment according to the criteria of economic and market competition in other groups of cases.

The possible forms of cooperation with the competition authority, for example through the mechanisms of leniency, settlement, or commitment foster the effective investigation of anti-competitive acts and the effective closure of competition supervisory procedures. Discussing this topic, the panel members agreed that such cooperation could be beneficial to both parties, since it increases the effectiveness of the authority while those who are under the proceeding may face less severe sanctions or, in some cases, may avoid conviction.

From 15 June the presentations of the Hungarian Competition Forum will be available on the GVH website.

Budapest, 15 June 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: basa.andrea@gvh.hu
press@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

 

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

 

 

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Another step taken in the fight against public procurement cartels

The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has been focusing on the fight against cartels for years, since participation in a cartel is just like stealing in broad daylight. The GVH has recently published an information booklet to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) acting as tenderers, and public procurement contracting authorities, to tackle the risks posed by cartels.

The above-mentioned information booklet, titled “Public procurement suspected of cartel activities?”, and the related tutorial assist the contracting authorities to identify cartels and to support the investigations of the GVH; furthermore, they formulate the public procurement procedures in a way that is unfavourable for cartelisation. This booklet completes the series of cartel compliance publications, which was initiated with a booklet for tenderers at the end of 2016, titled “How to Stay Clean?”

According to the Public Procurement Act, the contracting authority is obliged to contact the GVH in the event of a suspected cartel. To meet this obligation, the “Public procurement suspected of cartel activities?” titled booklet provides practical assistance by providing a detailed description of the signs that are suggestive of the existence of a cartel. It is important that the contracting authority does not indicate its suspicion of the existence of a cartel with the tenderers, and this also includes those tenderers that are not suspected of being involved in the anti-competitive cooperation. Furthermore, the booklet assists the contracting authorities to formulate concrete ideas about how they can make their public procurement procedures more unfavourable for the cartelists, for example by avoiding the prescription of undue participation conditions on the number and scope of potential tenderers.

The “How to stay clean?” titled booklet assists SMEs acting as tenderers to avoid participation in public procurement cartels, while also facilitating their cooperation with the GVH. Through concrete examples the booklet helps SMEs to identify anti-competitive situations and also suggests ways of how to avoid getting involved in such situations.

The two booklets and the tutorial draw attention to the fact that while public procurement cartels and corruption are often intertwined, purely corruption related cases cannot be addressed to the GVH. Although the subject matter of the publications is public procurement, their content is largely valid for all tenders and is therefore useful for their participants.

These publications serve the development of cartel related competition culture. The GVH launched its anti-cartel communication campaign with the slogan It cannot be Kept Secret” in 2015, and created a microsite http://kartell.gvh.hu/ to promote education. As part of this campaign, the GVH introduced a new contact opportunity, known as CartelChat.

Budapest, 26 May 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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Market analysis study on the motor vehicle market published by the GVH

The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, hereinafter GVH) has published its market analysis study aimed at investigating the functioning of the new passenger car and LCV distribution and repair markets and the related insurance market in Hungary.

As a result of the market analysis, the GVH has recommended that consideration is given to the decrease of certain tariffs related to the registration and maintenance of new motor vehicles and the differentiation of the tariffs related to the registration of used cars.

The GVH has informed the Ministry for National Economy that it recommends (possibly by involving the supervisory authority) the return of the campaign period on the compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance market.

Beside the above-mentioned, the GVH has also made a number of recommendations to the market players: it recommends a closer follow up of the decisions of the GVH and of competition law practice.

The full study is available in Hungarian on the webpage of the GVH

Budapest, 10 May 2017

Gazdasági Versenyhivatal

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA, Spokesperson
H-1054 Budapest, Alkotmány u. 5.
Tel.: (+36-1) 472-8902
Fax: (+36-1) 472-8898
Mobile: +3630 618-6618
Email: basa.andrea@gvh.hu
sajto@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 GVH has once again withdrawn its authorisation of a concentration due to misleading information and has imposed a fine of more than 75 million HUF

The Hungarian Competition Authority has withdrawn its decision in which it authorised Infineon Technologies AG to obtain acquisition of control over Cree Fayetteville, Inc. and for the capacity and radio frequency semiconductor business branch of Cree, Inc. and Cree Sweden AB to become part of Infineon Technologies AG; furthermore, it has imposed a procedural fine of 75 million and 850 thousand HUF due to the misleading and incomplete statements provided by Infineon Technologies AG relating to the markets affected by the concentration

On 10 January 2017 the GVH authorised in 8 days that Infineon Technologies AG could obtain direct and sole control above Cree Fayetteville, Inc.; furthermore, it authorised that the capacity and radio frequency semiconductor business branch of Cree, Inc. and the Cree Sweden AB could become part of Infineon Technologies AG based on the information that was provided in the application by Infineon Technologies AG.

However, the GVH later became aware of the fact that in the competition supervision procedure (No. Vj/1/2017) which was launched as a result of the application of Infineon Technologies AG, the latter mentioned company had supposedly provided incomplete and misleading information relating to the size of the markets affected by the concentration, and consequently also about the market shares of the groups of undertakings affected by the concentration. Therefore the Competition Council of the GVH withdrew its authorisation decision which was made on 10 of January 2017.

Simultaneously with the withdrawal of the decision, the Competition Council of the GVH ordered a full investigation of the concentration, which resulted in a procedural fine of 75 million and 850 thousand HUF being imposed on Infineon Technologies AG. The decision imposing the procedural fine may be appealed.

This is the second proceeding (the first being the case Vj/14/2017) within a short period of time in which the GVH has had to withdraw a previously granted merger authorisation due to the provision of misleading information. In recent years the GVH has made significant efforts in order to be able to provide authorisations as fast as possible in case of concentrations that can be regarded as simple, and to also reduce the administrative burdens faced by undertakings in connection with the concentrations. Nevertheless, in the quest to accelerate merger proceedings, it is also important that such acceleration must not prevail to the detriment of the merger control proceedings, the purpose of which is to enforce the public interest. Given that the GVH makes its decisions about transactions primary based on the data that is supplied by merging parties; the accurate provision of data from clients is of paramount importance. The GVH would again like to highlight the fact that in order to acquire accurate data, since the beginning of 2017, the legislator has empowered the GVH to conduct dawn raids without prior notice in order to avoid infringements related to merger cases. However, in the present case no such down raid was conducted.

Case numbers: Vj/1/2017., Vj/15/2017

Budapest, 2 May 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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