The Office Imposed Repeated Fines for the IT Cartel in Olomouc, Amounting to Almost CZK 80 Million

2022-01-20
The Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) re-imposed fines on members of the so-called Olomouc IT cartel, as the previous decision was annulled in the part concerning the fine by the Chairman of the Office during the appeal proceedings. Through the new decision, fines were imposed on six members of the cartel in the total amount of CZK 79,202,000. The decision is not yet final and may be appealed.

According to the original first-instance decision of the Office from December 2020, the companies AUTOCONT a.s. (as the successor company of AutoCont CZ a.s.), TESCO SW a.s., ICZ a.s., MERIT GROUP a.s., A-Scan s.r.o, Asseco Central Europe, a.s. and FPO s.r.o. infringed the Act on the Protection of Competition by dividing the performance of the public contract "Development of E-Government Services in the Olomouc Region", which was awarded by the Olomouc Region in 2012. The administrative offence was committed through mutual contacts and exchange of information. Parties to the cartel agreement also unlawfully participated in drafting qualification criteria of the contract in question. The aim of the prohibited agreement was to influence the outcome of the award procedure so that the winning bid would be the one in which all the parties would participate. They subsequently implemented their plan in a way that, on 30 April 2012, two matching bids were submitted, namely the more advantageous bid of AutoCont CZ a.s., in which the other parties in the procedure acted as subcontractors, and the cover bid of ICZ a.s.

In the appeal decision of August 2021, the Chairman of the Office, Petr Mlsna confirmed that there had been anticompetitive conduct between the parties, but annulled the part of the decision concerning the fines imposed (except the fine of CZK 232,000 for the company A-Scan s.r.o.), stating that their calculation should be better justified. In the new decision, the Office therefore repeatedly imposed fines in the following amounts:

ICZ a.s.                                             CZK 26,867,000

MERIT GROUP a.s.                          CZK 20,154,000

Asseco Central Europe, a.s.             CZK 13,500,000

AUTOCONT a.s.                               CZK 11,422,000

TESCO SW a.s.                                CZK 6,854,000

FPO s.r.o.                                          CZK 405,000.

 

Press Unit of the Office for the Protection of Competition
22/009 – S0191/2017

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