Following an application submitted by the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA), the Cartel Court found an infringement by Georg Hausmann KG, issuing its decision on the 5th of December 2022 (25 Kt 8/22x). Georg Hausmann KG infringed cartel law by entering into illegal vertical agreements with manufacturers of school bags and school backpacks. The retailer had agreed on resale prices with manufacturers, setting fixed and minimum retail prices for these products and, in some cases, for accessories on the Austrian market. The infringement covered the period from January 2015 to October 2018.
Hausmann KG cooperated with the AFCA and acknowledged the infringement. Due to the retailer’s difficult financial situation, the AFCA did not apply for a fine to be imposed.
This decision brings to an end the school bag cartel proceedings conducted by the AFCA against one manufacturer and three retailers. All in all, fines amounting to EUR 510,000 have been imposed.