AdC confirms dawn raids in two associations of advertising companies

​Press release 17/2018
 
AdC confirms dawn raids in two associations of advertising companies
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) confirms that it carried out dawn raids in the last few days at the premises of two associations of advertising companies, following suspicions of concerted practices in procurement procedures launched by advertisers.
 
In the context of this investigation for anticompetitive practices and under the powers provided by the Competition Act, the AdC carried out these dawn raids in the district of Lisbon.
 
The dawn raids were carried out by case handlers of the AdC, in cooperation with the Department of Criminal Investigation and Police officers.
 
The AdC ordered the infringement procedure to be subject to secrecy taking into account that the interest behind the investigation would not be duly safeguarded should the procedure be made public. However, the AdC may state that the inspections are not related with the procurement procedure for advertising outdoors for Lisbon.
 
In the last week, the AdC carried out two dawn raids. Since the beginning of 2017, the AdC carried out 18 dawn raids in 38 premises of 39 entities in the sectors of touristic river cruises, driving teaching, retail distribution and insurance, and now, in an association of food retail and in two associations of advertising.
 
Unannounced inspections are a means to obtain evidence of anticompetitive practices. However, the fact that they are carried out does not entail that the involved undertakings will be sanctioned, nor does it imply a judgment on whether the undertakings are guilty of an unlawful conduct in the market.
 
The infringement of competition rules not only reduces consumer welfare, but also weakens the companies’ competitiveness, undermining the economy as a whole.
 
The dawn raids are in line with the AdC’s priorities, as set out for 2018, which focus on the strengthening of antitrust enforcement. This includes anticompetitive practices carried out by business associations. As part of its advocacy mission, the AdC published a Guide for Business Associations with the purpose of advising associations of undertakings and its members, on decisions and behaviour to avoid in order to ensure compliance with the Competition rules. The Guide is available at AdC’s website, at www.concorrencia.pt (in Portuguese only).
 
10 October 2018