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Spanish Competition Authorities Impose Fines of €43 million for price fixing on Valencia Port Authority and others

  • Spain
  • Competition, EU and Trade - Competition e-briefings

07-10-2013

On 2 October 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (SCC) published a press release stating that it had imposed fines of €43m on five business associations, three companies and the Valencia Port Authority for having fixed prices and shared markets in the market for road transport by container from Valencia Harbour over a period of 13 years.

Three business associations ATEIA-OLT VALENCIA, AELTC and TRANSCONVAL received the highest fines: €13m, €12.7m and €9.9m respectively.

The SCC also found that the Valencia regional authority was not only involved but actually had a leading role in the infringement. In October 2011, in the Uva & Mosto case, the SCC had already indicated that it was ready to impose fines on any public authorities which participated in competition law infringements. However, according to the text published by the SCC, it appears that the Valencia regional authority has not been fined in this case.

As from 7 October 2013, the new Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (SMCC) will replace the SCC. A new Director for Competition, Mr. Eduardo Prieto Kessler, was appointed on 4 October.  Mr Prieto Kessler, who is a former advisor of the SCC, will lead the Directorate for Competition. The President of the SMCC, who will also lead the Competition Section, will be Mr. Marin Quemada, a former board member of the Bank of Spain.

The SMCC will be formed by merging seven regulatory bodies, including those for the energy and telecoms sectors. It remains uncertain what the impact will be on maximum time periods for the adoption of final infringement decisions. Likewise, what the priorities of the new SMCC will be remain unclear, including the intensity of enforcement. Total fines imposed by the SCC to date in 2013 have already exceeded €225 million.

For more information contact

Crisanto Pérez-Abad
Head of Competition Law Department
Eversheds Nicea

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