8 April 2022, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has ordered the enforcement of the fine imposed on Nitrogénművek Zrt. amounting to a total of 11 billion after the Curia of Hungary finally and definitely had dismissed the request for a deferral by the group.
In last October, the Hungarian Competition Authority imposed a record-breaking fine amounting to a total of HUF 11,05 billion on Nitrogénművek group for aiming to restrict competition on the Hungarian artificial fertilizer market together with other market players for years. The half of the participants admitted the cartel voluntarily and the participants other than Nitrogénművek group had already paid the imposed fine (or the installments respectively in accordance with the provisions). Nitrogenművek group however contested the decision before court and requested the suspension of the implementation of the decision of the competition authority – and consequently, that of the payment of the fine – until the remedy proceedings will be closed, which could even take years.
The courts examined the arguments of Nitrogénművek group and they made concordant decisions: first, the Budapest-Capital Regional Court (Fővárosi Törvényszék), and then – finally and definitely – the Curia of Hungary as second instance court dismissed the request for a deferral of Nitrogénművek because it was not proven that the operation of the undertakings would indeed become impossible. Therefore, without prejudice to the legal remedy proceeding against the decision on the merits by the competition authority, Nitrogénművek Zrt. must forthwith pay the total amount of the fine, as well as the default interest accumulated from original deadline (last autumn) which amounts to approximately HUF 300 million and accruing until the payment of the total fine.
As Nitrogénművek group paid approximately 5 thousandths of the amount of the fine to the central budget after the decision of the Curia of Hungary, in the interest of the protection of the money of the taxpayer, the Hungarian Competition Authority – fulfilling its legal obligation – ordered the enforcement of the fine accrued with default interest that will be carried out by the tax authority.
GVH Press Office