(1) Agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices of undertakings (hereinafter referred to as “agreements”), the objective or effect of which is to distort competition are prohibited and invalid,(1) unless this Act or a special act provides otherwise, or unless the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) grants an exemption from this prohibition by its statutory instrument. Agreements whose impact on competition is negligible are not considered prohibited.
(2) The agreements prohibited pursuant Subsection (1) include in particular those agreements the objective or effect of which is to distort competition because they contain a stipulation on
(a) direct or indirect fixing of prices or other business terms and conditions;
(b) limitation or control of production, sales, research and development or investments;
(c) sharing of markets or sources of supply;
(d) making the conclusion of a contract subject to the acceptance of a further performance, which by its nature or according to commercial usage and fair business practices has no connection with the object of such contract;
(e) application of dissimilar conditions to identical or equivalent transactions with other undertakings, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;
(f) obligation of the parties to the agreement to refrain from trading or other economic co-operation with undertakings that are not parties to the agreement, or to otherwise harm such undertakings (group boycott).
(3) If the reason for prohibition relates only to a part of the agreement, only that part shall be prohibited and invalid. However, provided that it may be inferred from the nature, contents or purpose of the agreement, or the circumstances in which the agreement was concluded that such part cannot be separated from the rest of the content, the whole agreement shall be prohibited and invalid.
(4) The prohibition pursuant to Subsection (1) does not apply to agreements, which
(a) contribute to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit;
(b) do not impose on the undertakings restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of the objectives pursuant to Letter a);
(c) do not afford such undertakings the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the market of goods, the supply or purchase of which constitutes the objective of the agreement.
(1) Section 580 of the Civil Code.
(1) The prohibition pursuant to Section 3(1) does not apply to agreements that cannot affect trade between Member States of the European Union pursuant to Article 101 of the Treaty, but fulfil other conditions laid down in block exemptions adopted on the basis of Article 103(1) of the Treaty in order to implement Article 101(3) of the Treaty by relevant Commission or Council Regulations (hereinafter referred to as “the EU Block Exemptions”), or in the exemption for the agriculture sector(2).
(2) The Office may also grant block exemptions to other categories of agreements if it is proven that the distortion of competition, to which the block exemption would lead, is prevailed by benefits for other market participants, in particular consumers.
(3) The Office withdraws the benefit resulting from the exemption pursuant to Subsection (1) or (2) provided that as a consequence of market development, an agreement subject to such exemption would not meet the conditions laid down in Section 3(4).
(2) Article 42 of the Treaty.
Council Regulation (EC) No. 1184/2006 of 24 July 2006 applying certain rules of competition to the production of agricultural products and trade (codified version).
(1) Agreements between undertakings operating on the same level of the product market are horizontal agreements.
(2) Agreements between undertakings operating on different levels of the product market are vertical agreements.
(3) Mixed agreements between undertakings operating on the same horizontal level as well as on different vertical levels of the product market are also considered horizontal agreements; in case of doubt, an agreement is deemed to be a horizontal agreement.
If the Office finds in proceedings concerning the matters pursuant to Section 3 to 5 that a prohibited agreement has been concluded, it declares such fact in a decision and by means of that decision, it prohibits performance of the agreement in the future.
(1) A legal person or a natural person-entrepreneur as an undertaking commits an administrative offence if it
(a) breaks a seal placed in the course of the investigation pursuant to Section 21f(2)(e);
(b) concludes an agreement contrary to Section 3(1);
(c) abuses its dominant position contrary to Section 11(1);
(d) implements a concentration contrary to Section 18(1);
(e) fails to fulfil a commitment pursuant to Section 7(2), Section 11(3) or Section 17(4) or fails to implement a measure pursuant to Section 18(5);
(f) fails to fulfil a remedial measure imposed by the Office pursuant to Section 20(4) or another obligation stated in the Office’s decision; or
(g) fails to provide complete, accurate and truthful business records to the Office pursuant to Section 21e(1);
(h) fails to provide the necessary cooperation to the Office during inspection conducted in the business premises or non-business premises pursuant to Section 21f(3); or
(i) breaches the obligation to suffer an inspection conducted in the business premises or non-business premises pursuant to Section 21f(4).
(2) A fine of up to CZK 300,000 or up to 1% of the net turnover achieved by the undertaking in the last completed accounting period is imposed for the administrative offence pursuant to Subsections (1)(a), (g), (h) or (i) and a fine of up to CZK 10,000,000 or up to 10% of the net turnover achieved by the undertaking in the last completed accounting period is imposed for the administrative offence pursuant to Subsections (1)(b), (c), (d), (e) or (f), unless stated below that no fine is imposed for the administrative offence pursuant to Subsection (1)(b).
(3) If a fine pursuant to Subsection (2) is imposed on an association of undertakings, it may amount up to 10% of the aggregate net turnover achieved by the members of the association in the last completed accounting period. Each member of the association is liable for payment of the imposed fine up to 10% of its net turnover achieved in the last completed accounting period.
(4) For an administrative offence pursuant to Subsection (1)(b) committed in relation to public procurement, the Office may impose, along with a fine pursuant to Subsection (2) a prohibition to perform public contracts for a maximum period of 3 years, unless stated otherwise below.
(5) Prohibition to perform public contracts means a prohibition to participate in a tender, a prohibition to submit applications for participation in the dynamic purchasing system and a prohibition to conclude an agreement for the performance of small-scale public contracts. The course of the period, for which the prohibition to perform public contracts is imposed, starts on the day on which the decision imposing the prohibition enters into force.
(6) The Office administers a public register of persons prohibited from performing public contracts, which contains the identification details of the legal person or natural person-entrepreneur who is prohibited from performing public contracts, the date on which the prohibition begins, and the date on which it ends, identification details of the decision imposing the prohibition to perform public contracts. The register is published in a manner allowing remote access.