Fine of CZK 1,105,000 Imposed on Company Czech Frost for Noncompliance with the Inspection

2015-06-08
Disciplinary fine of CZK 1,105,000 was imposed on the company CZECH FROST for noncompliance with the inspection of the business premises conducted by the Office for the Protection of Competition (the Office). The decision has not come into force yet and an appeal can be filed against the Office´s decision.

In February 2015 the Office conducted a dawn-raid within the investigation of alleged cartel agreement among undertakings in the sector of handling, storage and protection of goods. In the course of the inspection the Office´s representative sought to verify the business records located in the computer of the CZECH FROST´s director. However, the director and other employees of the undertaking did not allow the Office to do so even after the notice on the possibility of disciplinary fine imposition.

Disallowing the screening of business records located in the director´s computer caused an irreversible prevention of their effective investigation and the possible gain of important evidence of anticompetitive conduct.

Pursuant to the Czech Act on the Protection of Competition, during the unannounced inspection of business premises representatives of the Office are allowed to enter the business premises of undertakings; verify whether the documents and records represents business records; screen the business records that are located in the business premises or are accessible from the business premises regardless the form of their storage; copy or gain in any form copies or abstracts from business records; seal business premises or cabinets or cases or business records situated in it for the period and to the extent necessary for conducting the inspection.

During the inspection of business premises the undertaking is obliged to cooperate with the Office and provide access to all documents held by the undertaking and that are related to the subject matter of the investigation even if such documents may be used by the Office to prove the existence of the prohibited conduct. For not fulfilling this obligation the Office may repeatedly impose a disciplinary fine of up to CZK 300 000 or 1 % of the net turnover achieved by the undertaking in the last accounting period.

 

International and External Relations
15/018/HS011 – V45/2015

 

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