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PRESS RELEASE: The Commission for the Protection of Competition imposed an administrative fine on OSEHK, SEE, SEHK, SEMEEK and ACEEME for infringements of section 3(1)(b) of the Protection of Competition Laws and of the corresponding article 101 (1)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
09/03/2022


The Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter the “CPC”) following the completion of the relevant procedures and having evaluated all evidence before it, on 27/7/2021 issued decision no. 52/2021 in relation to its ex-officio investigation regarding possible practices, actions and behavior of the Association of Contractors of Mechanical and Electrological Works of Cyprus (“SEMEEK”), the Association of Engineering Electrical, Engineering & Energy Consultants (“ACEEME”), the Cyprus Electrical Contractors Association (“SEHK”), the Association of Licensed Electrical Contractors P.O.S.E.H. Limassol District (“SEE”) and the Federation of Associations of Electrical Contractors Cyprus (“OSEHK”).

Subject of the aforementioned ex officio investigation was the possible practices, actions and behavior of OSEHK, SEE, SEHK, SEMEEK and ACEEME which may have had as their object and/ or effect, the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in violation of section 3 of the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014 (hereinafter the “Law”) and of article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter the “TFEU”).

The CPC based on all evidence before it and following the completion of the oral hearing and written submissions of all involved parties, unanimously decided that:

(a) in relation to the agreement- cooperation protocol between SEMEEK, SEHK, ACEEME, SEE and OSEHK, as associations of undertakings, on the basis of which SEMEEK, SEHK, SEE and OSEHK would submit tenders only in relation to projects where the consultant is a member of a professional association and the corresponding members of ACEEME would call for tenders only contractors who are members of professional associations, all said parties infringed section 3 (1) (b) of the Law and Article 101 (1) (b) of the TFEU. The said agreement had as an object the restriction of competition from the time it was adopted (from 19/11/2015 for SEMEEK, SEHK, ACEEME and from 28/1/2016 for SEE and OSEHK) up until the time it was suspended for the first time on 19/4/2016; and

(b) in relation to the agreement between SEMEEK, SEHK, SEE and OSEHK, as associations of undertakings, based on which their members would not submit tenders to projects that would call for tenders not on the basis of the appointed subcontracting method, SEHK, SEE and OSEHK infringed section 3 (1) (b) of the Law and Article 101 (1) (b) of the TFEU. The said agreement had as object the restriction of competition from the time it was adopted (from 19/11/2015 for SEHK and from 28/1/2016 for SEE and OSEHK) up until the commencement of the ex officio investigation on 20/10/2016. This infringement in not imputed on SEMEEK as, taking into account the CPC’s Decision no. 25/2017, there was not a commencement of procedures based on section 17 of the Law.

The CPC, pursuant to section 24 of the Law, unanimously decided that ACEEME SEMEEK, SEHK, SEE and OSEHK must avoid repeating the aforementioned infringements of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in the future. Additionally, the CPC in exercising its discretion, evaluated all evidence before it and having considered the nature, duration and seriousness of the infringements as well as all mitigating factors, unanimously decided to impose administrative fines in accordance with section 24(a) and 42(1) of the Law, after taking into account the turnover of each party as follows:

i. on OSEHK, the amount of €119,20 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the aforementioned agreement-cooperation protocol and the amount of €357,62 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of TFEU in relation to the matter of the appointed subcontracting;

ii. on SEE, the amount of €50,03 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the aforementioned agreement-cooperation protocol and the amount of €100,06 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and the article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the matter of the appointed subcontracting;

iii. on SEHK, the amount of €1.458,99 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the aforementioned agreement-cooperation protocol and the amount of €2.431,65 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the appointed subcontracting;

iv. on SEMEEK the amount of €845,73 regarding the infringement of 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the aforementioned agreement-cooperation protocol; and

v. on ACEEME, the amount of €213,87 regarding the infringement of section 3(1)(b) of the Law and article 101(1)(b) of the TFEU in relation to the aforementioned agreement-cooperation protocol.

Note: In the present press release the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014, which were replaced on 23/2/2022 by the Protection of Competition Law of 2022 N. 13(I)/2022, are mentioned taking into account the issuance date of the CPC’s decision.


THE COMMISION FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION
9/3/2022







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