The Portuguese Competition Authority has conducted a dawn raid for suspected anticompetitive practices

Press Release 03 /2015
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority has conducted a dawn raid for suspected anticompetitive practices
 
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) confirms it has conducted, throughout the day of 26 February 2015, a dawn raid in seven premises of several companies, located in the area of Lisbon and Porto, as part of an investigation into anticompetitive practices, under the powers conferred by the Portuguese Competition Act.
 
The unannounced visits have been triggered by the finding of evidence of anticompetitive practices, horizontal in nature (cartel), in the sector of office consumables, underlying the suspicion of a breach of the Portuguese Competition Act and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
 
The fight against cartels is a maximum priority for the PCA, taking into account the losses that it invariably cause to consumers and businesses, leading to higher prices and reduced quality and variety of goods and services. The infringement of competition rules not only reduces consumer welfare, but also weakens the companies´ competitiveness, undermining the economy as a whole.
 
Unannounced inspections are a way to obtain evidence of anticompetitive practices, and they do not necessarily mean that companies involved will be condemned, nor imply a prejudice against the companies´ conduct on the market.
 
The normal operation of the companies involved has not been impacted by the PCA´s procedures.
 
The Portuguese Competition Act enacts a leniency regime for companies wishing to disclose their participation in an anticompetitive agreement or concerted practice and to provide information and evidence on the alleged breach.
 
The dawn raid has been authorized by the Public Prosecutor, at the PCA´s request.