The Office imposed fine for the third cartel agreement in rail freight transport

2020-06-22
By its first-instance decision, the Office for the Protection of Competition imposed fines in the total amount of CZK 18,426,000 on AWT Čechofracht a.s., INTERFRACHT s.r.o., ARGO LOGISTICS, s.r.o. and SPEDICA, s.r.o. for cartel agreement in the field of international rail freight transport and forwarding.

The Office did not impose a fine on the competitor Rail Cargo Austria AG as it had provided the Office with information on the existence of the cartel within the so-called leniency programme. Competitors INTERFRACHT s.r.o. and ARGO LOGISTICS, s.r.o. filed an appeal against the decisions, the rest of the parties to the proceedings did not exercise this right.

The above-mentioned competitors entered into a prohibited agreement effective from 2004 till 2013 in connection to projects called Carpathia, Sylvania and new Carpatia. On the basis of secret illegal cooperation, they allocated their customers and goods transport contracts, coordinated prices for these services and exchanged sensitive information. The cartel agreement distorted competition in the market of rail freight transport and forwarding and was able to affect trade between the EU Member States as well. Rail freight transport companies infringed not only the Czech Competition Act but also Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Fines imposed:

Rail Cargo Austria AG                                    fine not imposed (leniency+settlement)

AWT Čechofracht a.s.                                    CZK 1,826,000 (leniency II+settlement)

SPEDICA, s.r.o.                                             CZK 4,243,000 (settlement)

INTERFRACHT s.r.o.                                     CZK 2,357,000

ARGO LOGISTICS, s.r.o.                               CZK 10,000,000

 

Press Unit of the Office

20/055 – S0632/2016

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