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“Antitrust Marathon” VI hosted by the GVH

The most important questions of compliance with competition law were raised in this year’s competition law roundtable discussion, entitled “Antitrust Marathon”, which was held on 13 October 2017 and organised by Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Péter Pázmány Catholic University and the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH).

The GVH is committed to promoting compliance with competition rules as the promotion of competition culture is a key element in prevention”, – highlighted Juhász Miklós, President of the GVH in his opening speech at the Antitrust Marathon event, which was held for the sixth time. Since 2012 the GVH has launched several communication campaigns aimed at encouraging (first of all) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to comply with competition law.

The full-day roundtable and panel discussions were led by Philip Marsden, Inquiry Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), United Kingdom, Tihamér Tóth, Associate Professor of Pázmány Péter Catholic University and Spencer Waller, Director of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, United States. Leaders from competition authorities, advisers, lawyers and academics participated at the event and discussed the ways in which a culture of compliance concerning competition matters can be created.

According to the speech given by András Tóth, Vice-President of the GVH, a competition authority needs to encourage and recognise companies’ competition compliance efforts for a number of reasons: firstly this may result in an unlawful conduct being brought to an end at an early stage, secondly it may accelerate the competition between the potential leniency applicants and, finally, it may encourage more leniency applications. In his speech he also highlighted how compliance programmes may be recognised:  in his opinion, on the one hand compliance programmes cannot automatically be recognised as this would act as a form of ”cheap insurance” for undertakings, while on the other hand it is worth taking a look at the efficiency of such programmes, bearing in mind the special situation of SMEs, which have  limited possibilities to develop compliance programmes.

Philip Marsden, Director of the CMA, told everyone in his closing thoughts that the GVH had hosted a multilateral exchange of views “about what we can all do make sure  company staff don’t take the easy route and violate competition law, thus harming consumers, their own companies and industries. Incentives matter – whether financial, regulatory or moral – but working together companies, their advisors and competition authorities can increase awareness and prevent illegal practices, ensuring markets are able to work for the benefit of all.”

The contributions and related studies heard at the Antitrust Marathon will be published in the following number of the Loyola Consumer Law Review.

Budapest, 16 October 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 (GVH) has set up a trustee for the first time in a merger between undertakings

The GVH ordered Duna-Dráva Cement Kft. (DDC) to sell six of its ready-mix concrete plants in order to implement its acquisition of control over Readymix Hungária Kft. (Readymix). A trustee set up by the GVH will oversee the sale of the plants.

On 2 November 2015, Duna-Dráva Cement Kft. (DDC) concluded a contract with Readymix Hungária Kft. and with a Croatian undertaking participating in the same group of corporations with Readymix in order to acquire control over Cemex Croatia.

In April of 2017 the European Commission prohibited the part of the proposed transaction concerning the Croatian market in proceeding no. M.7878 on the ground that it raised serious competition concerns. As a result of this prohibition the part of the transaction concerning the Hungarian market could also not be implemented; consequently, the parties revoked their request and the GVH terminated its proceeding no. VJ/74/2016 related to this case. Following this, more precisely on 13 July 2017, the DDC once again notified the GVH of the concentration but this time limited to the Hungarian market. The GVH concluded its proceeding no. VJ/37/2017 related to the case.

The DDC Group operates two cement plants, 29 ready-mix concrete plants (some of them jointly controlled with third parties), 8 self-owned and 1 rented aggregates (mineral materials used in constructions) sites in Hungary.

Readymix owns 33 ready-mix concrete plants, 4 aggregates sites and 3 paving stone factories in Hungary.

Through a thorough investigation the GVH evaluated the possible effects on competition, i.e. it requested information from numerous market participants, performed assessment visits, prepared an economic analysis, and conducted market tests for rating the commitments made by the parties.

Based on the markets, the position of the parties and the revealed facts concerning their role in the competition, the GVH identified the presence of both parties on the ready-mix concrete market in the area of Kaposvár, Kecskemét, Nagykanizsa, Siófok, Székesfehérvár and Pécs; furthermore, it observed that in these areas the notified concentration – without implementing corrective measures – could cause significant restrictions on competition and could result in one-sided horizontal effects (an increase in prices).

After recognising the doubts of the GVH, the DDC Group has undertaken the following:

  • to sell its plants operating in the above-mentioned areas or to sell the shares it has in the undertakings that operate these plants by handing in the letter of intent of the potential buyers;

  • to fulfill its complementary commitments.

As regards to the detachment ordered for the implementation of the acquisition, the GVH has for the first time set up a trustee in order to oversee the maintenance of the value and economic viability of factory units.

The record number of the case is VJ/37/2017 

Budapest, 03. October 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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Authorised acquisition of control by AValue over Lapcom

The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) acknowledges the acquisition of control by AValue Befektetési Kft. (AValue Investment Ltd.) over Lapcom Kiadó Zrt. (Lapcom Publishing Ltd.), in the framework of which AValue will acquire 100% of the shares of Lapcom.

Pursuant to the provisions of the media law, the notifier had requested a special administrative preapproval from the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), the Media Council of which gave its special administrative approval to the transaction on 25 July 2017.

AValue is member of the Vajna-group, which is present on the television and radio media services and publishing market, while the Lapcom-group is present on the press market. Based on the information provided in the notification form, no substantive horizontal overlap or other factor was identified in the transaction that was capable of raising competition concerns in relation to the market activities of the parties concerned, either on the national or regional advertising markets.

The notification form submitted by the parties was in accordance with legal requirements and possible harmful effects on competition could not be established; consequently, the conditions that must be fulfilled for the initiation of a competition supervision proceeding were not satisfied and the GVH issued a special administrative attestation for the notifier.

Case number: B/822/2017

25 September, Budapest, 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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New members were appointed by the President of the Republic to the decision-making body of the GVH

János Áder, President of the Republic, appointed Ms. Nora Vaczi from 1st of September and Mr. Dávid Kuritár from 11th of September as new members of the Competition Council of the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – Hungarian Competition Authority). Their appointments are for a period of six years.

The Competition Council performs tasks determined by law; it decides on the substance of competition supervision proceedings and it also assesses applications submitted for legal remedies against resolutions adopted by case handlers during competition supervision proceedings. The activities of the Competition Council are organised and supervised by the Chair of the Competition Council who is also endowed with the responsibilities of one of the Vice Presidents of the GVH. The Competition Council decides on individual cases in a three- or five-member Council, appointed by the Chair of the Competition Council. In addition to their tasks in relation to competition supervision proceedings the Members of the Competition Council also participate in the competition advocacy tasks of the GVH and contribute to the efforts to disseminate competition culture in Hungary.

When carrying out their decision-making duties in competition supervision proceedings the Chair and the members of the Competition Council act independently: when they adopt a resolution, they are only subject to the law and no instructions can be given to them. The resolutions of the Competition Council can be subject to judicial review.

Ms. Nóra Váczi graduated as a chartered economist from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences at the Faculty of Economics in 2001. After graduation she joined to the GVH, where she mainly worked as an investigator in competition supervision proceedings related to network industries and the media sector. Between 2008 and 2010 she was employed as an expert at the Information Society and Media DG of the European Union, where she evaluated the proposed regulatory actions of the domestic telecommunications agencies from a competition law perspective and contributed to the preparation of the regulatory proposals of the European Union.  She then returned to the GVH, where she has since worked in a number of sections in various positions; from 2010 she was a member of the decision-making body of the GVH, then she led the Competition Council’s Decision-Making Support Team. She speaks fluent English and German.

Mr. Dávid Kuritár graduated from the Faculty of Law at Eötvös Loránd University. During his years spent at university he also studied at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen in the framework of a scholarship programme. Between 2010 and 2011 he was employed by an international law firm as a junior associate. From 2011 he has been working for several sections of the GVH, he has been the leader of the Competition Council’s Secretariat, an investigator in the Merger Section, legal expert at the Litigation Section, and until the date of his most recent appointment, he was charged with the responsibility of leading the Cartel Section. In 2013 he was also employed under an expert-exchange programme by the Cartel Directorate of the European Commission DG for Competition. He speaks fluent English and German.

Budapest, 05. September 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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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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