Competition Office levies fines of HUF 10 billion in 2010

Competition

Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) levied combined fines of HUF 10.4 billion in 2010, well over the HUF 5.83 billion in 2009, as the number of big cartel cases and instances in which companies misled consumers grew, GVH said on Friday.

GVH closed 132 procedures and started 123 procedures last year. It took 94 resolutions.

GVH concluded six cartel investigations in the course of the year and levied fines of a combined HUF 9.6 billion in these cases. Most of these concerned railway construction projects and milling companies.

GVH noted that it has paid close attention to consumer protection in the financial sector, especially with regard to group-purchase schemes since 2009. GVH started 20 procedures against group-purchase schemes over unfair information practices and levied fines of HUF 163m by the end of last year.

GVH conducted 45 procedures concerning mergers in 2010. These mostly affected mergers in the construction, the gas service and the telecommunications sectors as well as the food industry and pharmacies.

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