On 21 January 2020, the Slovenian Competition Agency (the “Agency”) published an official statement regarding its recent decision establishing that companies Surovina, Dinos, Salomon and Recikel (hereinafter: the “Parties”) colluded to eliminate a competitor and to divide the waste management market in Slovenia.
The markets concerned include the downward market of packaging waste management systems and on the upward market of organizing waste management systems. The Agency found that the Parties colluded to force out their competitor from the downward market by refusing to provide the competitor with their key services, resulting in a substantial increase in the competitors’ operational costs, meaning that it was unable to offer competitive services to its clients. Subsequently, the Parties agreed to share that competitor’s clients once the competitor was out of the market. In that manner, the Parties entered into a restrictive agreement whose aim was to restrict competition. The Agency made substantial development in this case also due to a leniency application from one of the Parties which submitted additional evidence and information, which helped in the establishment of the competition infringement in question.
The decision of the Agency is not yet final, since the Parties may appeal the decision before the Administrative Court, and most certainly will do so. This decision shows an interesting development in the enforcement activity of the Agency, indicating increased attention towards certain important markets in Slovenia. Following a potential change in the legislation, where the Agency will be able to impose fines within a unified procedure, such enforcement activity could be even more efficient.