Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) levied fines of Ft 3.7 billion on companies in January-August 2006, about Ft 2 billion more than in the same period a year earlier, GVH spokesman András Mihalovits said.
Fines for operating cartels came to Ft 1.535 billion in January-August 2006, Ft 1.435 billion more than in the same period a year earlier. Fines for misleading consumers rose Ft 600 million to Ft 1.112 billion. GVH levied fines of Ft 1.012 billion for abuse of market power and fines of Ft 42.5 million for infringements of merger regulations.
The biggest fine during the period, Ft 1.51 billion, was levied on three IT companies in mid-June. SAP Hungary and IBM Hungary were each required to pay Ft 690 million, while International System House was fined Ft 129 million.
Of the 247 competition procedures going on in January-August, 115 were closed and 132 are underway, including two that have been suspended. GVH evaluated 22 appeals in the first half of 2006 and accepted only five. Out of four appeals against GHV decisions, the Budapest Municipal Court accepted the appeal in only one case.