LENIENCY CONTACT POINTS:
- E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PHONE: +386 1 431 02 79
Listed details are for leniency applicants ONLY and are not for providing general information on Competition Protection Office's activities or general information about leniency!
With the adoption of the new Prevention of the Restriction of Competition Act (Official gazette RS, nos. 36/08 and 40/09; hereinafter: Competition Act), which came into force on 26 April 2008, leniency was introduced into Slovenian competition law system. Under the leniency program members of cartels can benefit from lenient treatment by the Competition Protection Agency (CPA) in the minor offences procedure, if they cooperate with the CPA during its investigations, in line with the Article 76 of Competition Act.
CARTELS – agreements or concerted actions among two or more competitors, which have as their object the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition on the market through practices such as the fixing of purchase or selling prices or other trading conditions, limitations of production or sales and the sharing of markets.
Under the leniency procedure the CPA can grant either immunity from fines or reduction of fines, in the minor offences procedure.
The rules of procedure for granting immunity from fines or reduction of fines are contained in the Decree on the procedure for granting immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases (Official gazette RS, nr. 112/09; hereinafter: Decree), which came into effect on 1 January 2010.
In order to benefit from the leniency, offender must submit an application and fulfill all the conditions set in Article 76 of the Competition Act and the Decree.
In order to qualify for the IMMUNITY from fines offender must submit AN APPLICATION and fulfill the following conditions (paragraph 1, Article 76 Competition Act):
1. be the first to provide evidence, which in the CPA's view, will enable the CPA to carry out inspections in administrative or minor offences procedure in connection with the alleged cartel OR
2. be the first to provide evidence, which in the CPA's view, will enable the CPA to find an infringement in administrative and minor offences procedure AND
3. fully and completely disclose its participation in the alleged cartel,
4. cooperate with the CPA throughout the procedure (see Article 7 of the Decree),
5. end its involvement in the alleged cartel immediately following its application, except if that would, in the CPA's view, in any way jeopardize the inspections,
6. the offender submitting the application, must not have coerced others to join the cartel or to remain in it.
In order to qualify for the REDUCTION of fines offender must submit AN APPLICATION and fulfill the following conditions (paragraph 2, Article 76 Competition Act):
1. provide the evidence of its involvement in the alleged cartel which represents significant added value with respect to the evidence already in the CPA's possession AND
2. cooperate with the CPA throughout the procedure (see Article 7 of the Decree),
3. end its involvement in the alleged cartel immediately following its application, except if that would, in the CPA's view, in any way jeopardize the inspections.
RANGE OF REDUCTIONS:
- first offender to fulfill conditions –30 - 50 %
- second offender to fulfill conditions –20 - 30 %
- other offenders to fulfill conditions – up to 20 %
WHO CAN APPLY FOR LENIENCY?
An application can be made only by OFFENDERS - THAT IS CARTEL MEMBERS. They are legal persons, private entrepreneurs, individuals, who perform economic activities, that are cartel members and their responsible persons as defined in Article 15 of Minor Offences Act (Official gazette RS, nr. 7/03 and subs.). It must be clearly stated in the application who does the application cover! (see 2 and 3 paragraph Article 3 of the Decree).
Offender submits the application, by filling in one of the forms that are anexed to the Decree, including also list of attachments and list of evidence, and provides all required information and evidence. All of the above must be submitted in TRIPPLETS (ORIGINAL and TWO COPIES – an original for the minor offences procedure, one copy for administrative procedure and one copy for the offender).
The offender must specify, in the application, whether the application should be considered for immunity only or for reduction as well or for reduction only.
Application and all the evidence provided are considered to be BUSSINESS SECRETS. The CPO can reveal the information and the evidence from the application ONLY TO the company that is party to the proceedings after issuing of the Statement of the Objections in the administrative procedure and in accordance with the paragraph 7 Article 18 of the Competition Act as well as to the other national competition authorities in line with Article 12 of Regulation 1/2003. (see Article 6 of the Decree)
HYPOTHETICAL APPLICATION – it is only possible in applications for IMMUNITY. The application does not need to reveal the identity of the offender or other cartel members or detailed description of the infringement, but must specify a contact person. It is not possible to submit hypothetical application orally. (see Article 13 of the Decree)
SUMMARY APPLICATION - it is only possible in applications for IMMUNITY. It applies to the alleged cartels that represent infringement of Article 81 of the Treaty (now Article 101) and where the European Commission is particularly well placed to act. It can be made by the offender, who is considering making an application or has already submitted application for immunity to the European Commission, if:
- the alleged infringement has or could possibly have an effect on the competition in the Slovenian territory or has been implemented within or originates from its territory,
- the CPA can effectively bring the infringement to an end and
- the CPA can gather, possibly with the assistance of other authorities, the evidence required to prove the infringement . (see Article 14 of the Decree)
APPLICATION FOR MARKER – it is only possible in applications for IMMUNITY. Offender can make an application for a marker, if he does not have all the information needed to submit a full application for immunity. It is not possible to make a request for marker orally. Offender must substantiate his or her request! (see Article 12 of the Decree)
POSSIBLE METHODS OF APPLICATION
- BY MAIL IN CLOSED ENVELOPE BEARING THE FOLLOWING MARK:
»NE ODPIRAJ, POSLOVNA SKRIVNOST, ZA PROGRAM PRIZANESLJIVOSTI« (»DO NOT OPEN, BUSINESS SECRETS, FOR THE LENIENCY PROGRAMME«)
AGENCIJA RS ZA VARSTVO KONKURENCE
- IN WRITTING, IN PERSON AT THE CPA, DURING OFFICE HOURS:
AGENCIJA RS ZA VARSTVO KONKURENCE
- ORALY, IN PERSON AT THE CPO STATED FOR THE RECORD – PREVIOUS APPOINTMENT REQUIERED
* request for making an oral statement must be substantiated in line with the paragraph 2 Article 4 of the Decree!
· BY FAX:
+386 1 478 34 75 (CURRENTLY IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SUBMIT APPLICATION BY FAX!)
· DURING INSPECTIONS: inspected company can inform authorised CPA employees during the inspection that it whishes to make a formal application (only in connection with the cartel that is the subject of the inspection!).
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE RECEIPT OF THE APPLICATION
After the receipt of the application, the CPA, will mark the application and two copies with the date, hour and minute of the receipt. One copy of the application will then be returned to the offender. IF REQUESTED, the CPA will provide also acknowledgment of the receipt (annex 6).
LANGUAGE OF THE APPLICATION
Application can only be made in SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE.
DEALING WITH THE APPLICATIONS
The CPA will deal with the applications in order received, dealing separately dealing with the application for immunity and for applications for reductions. The CPA will first examine applications for immunity. (see Article 5 of the Decree)
The CPA will INFORM IN WRITTING offender whose application, meets the conditions for immunity or reduction, that he or she has met the conditions. (see Article 8 of the Decree).
The CPA will grant immunity or the reduction in THE MINOR OFFENCES DECISION. (see Article 9 of the Decree)
RELATIONSHIP WITH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
The Criminal Code (Official gazette RS, no. 55/08 (66/08 corr.) and subs.) contains in Article 225 criminal act Unlawful Restriction of Competition, which incriminates cartels as well and immunity can be granted also in the criminal procedure. Nevertheless, benefits from the Decree can only be granted in the procedures before the CPA, since it does not apply to criminal procedure. There are no safeguards that immunity granted in the minor offence procedure in front of the CPA would be granted also in the criminal procedure, although latter would most probably be the case.