On 3 July 2014 the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – Hungarian Competition Authority) launched a competition supervision procedure against DUNA HOUSE FRANCHISE Kft. (Real Estate Agency) and Otthon Centrum Franchising Tanácsadó Kft. (Real Estate Agency). The investigation was initiated with an unannounced inspection held by the GVH at the seats of the undertakings under investigation.
According to the available data, the GVH presumes that the real estate agency undertakings possessing nationwide territorial networks entered into an anti-competitive agreement in 2013, under which certain assignments became available and transferable for the network sellers of both real estate agencies and the concerned real estates were displayed on the homepages of both real estate agencies.
The GVH presumes that the terms of service, in particular the fees, applied in the concerned assignments as a consequence of the agreement between the two real estate agencies, may have been unified and that this may have resulted in the fees being raised. The cooperation between the undertakings may considerably increase their market shares in the long term on the seller side of the real estate market and exclude their competitors from this side of the market.
The GVH suspects that the undertakings under investigation have presumably violated, by the above-mentioned conducts, the provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act with regard to the prohibition of restrictive agreements.
The unannounced inspection of the GVH is ensured in the Hungarian Competition Act. According to the provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act the inspection requires prior judicial consent.
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 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-57/2014.
Budapest, 4 July 2014
Hungarian Competition Authority
Mail: 1054 Budapest, V. ker. Alkotmány u.5.
Postal address: 1245 Budapest, 5. POB 1036
Tel: (+36-1) 472-8902