Manager of EGEM Did Not Fulfil the Obligation to Cooperate during the Dawn Raid, the Office Imposed a Fine Amounting to CZK 2,362,000

Petr Mlsna, the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition, by the decision of 6 January 2021 rejected the appeal of EGEM s.r.o. and upheld imposition of a fine amounting to CZK 2,362,000 for not fulfilling the obligation to cooperate with the Office during the dawn raid.

Petr Mlsna commented the case as follows. “Cooperation of the undertaking during the dawn raid is absolutely necessary; what is more, the undertaking is legally obliged to do so.”

The undertaking did not fulfil the legal obligation to fully cooperate during the inspection carried out by the Office on 4 September 2019. Firstly, the undertaking promised that its manager would make his working electronic devices available to the Office’s investigation. However, the manager did not fulfil this promise influencing the course and the aim of the inspection.

The undertaking raised several objections within the appeal. According to the undertaking, the Office tried to restrict personal liberty of the manager when asking him to take part in the dawn raid. In addition, the undertaking denied its own promise to ensure the manager´s presence at its commercial premises during the dawn raid. Last but not least, the undertaking did not agree with the level of the imposed fine as well.

The Chairman of the Office rejected all the objections. The undertaking is not allowed to avoid examination of its electronic devices and communication channels due to absence of the manager at its commercial premises during the dawn raid. The level of the fine is considered as adequate by the Chairman of the Office. It is possible to impose a fine of up to CZK 300,000 or up to 1% of the undertaking’s turnover for such infringement of the Competition act. The imposed fine reaches the amount of 0.1% of the turnover and it is fully in accordance with the amount of fines imposed in similar cases.

The legality of the inspection carried out by the Office was upheld by the Regional Court in Brno, which rejected the administrative action of EGEM against an illegal intervention.

Press Unit of the Office
21/006 – R0228/2019

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