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AFCA files applications for findings and a fine in relation to two companies engaged in measurement and control technology for building technology systems

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) filed applications with the Cartel Court on 16 February 2022 in relation to two companies, to impose a fine and to find infringements of § 1 para. 1 of the Austrian Cartel Act (KartG).

AFCA investigations

Following an application made by one of the companies relating to infringements set forth in § 11b of the Federal Competition Act (WettbG; leniency application), the AFCA initiated investigations. These investigations found that the two companies had reached an agreement on dividing the Austrian market for measurement and control technology for building technology systems by federal province, with the address of relevant projects determining which company would get the contract. The infringement occurred from January 2019 to February 2020.

The division of markets constitutes a severe infringement (hardcore restriction) of the ban on cartels according to § 1 KartG.

Leniency programme: Refraining from applying for a fine

Owing to one company’s full cooperation under the leniency programme, the AFCA refrained from applying for a fine and instead made an application for findings to the Cartel Court.

The second company has acknowledged the infringement. Since this lowers the cost of proceedings, the application was for a reduced fine of EUR 50,000. The short duration of the infringement was also taken into account when setting the amount of the fine.