AdC issues Statement of Objections to National Association of Land Surveyors for price fixing

​Press release 17/2020
 
AdC issues Statement of Objections to National Association of Land Surveyors for price fixing
 
The AdC – Portuguese Competition Authority issued a Statement of Objections (SO) to the National Association of Land Surveyors (ANT – in Portuguese), for price fixing of the services of land surveying.
 
The investigation, conducted by the AdC revealed that following November 2003 the ANTapproved and published at its website, a pricing schedule, in order to promote a standardization of the prices of the activity developed by its members.
 
The pricing schedule established fees, with significant detail, for land surveying services by hour and by area covered, and also set minimum fees that land surveyors should charge.
 
Decisions and price recommendations by business associations are likely to infringe competition law where they may condition the autonomy of its members in determining their commercial policy. For a market to experience competitive dynamics, each company or, in this case, liberal professional must have total autonomy in such matters.
 
The infringement of competition rules not only reduces consumer welfare, but also weakens companies´ competitiveness, thus undermining the economy as a whole.
ANT has 729 members which provide surveying services essential to civil construction, public works and other sectors, throughout the Portuguese territory.
 
The AdC opened the current investigation on May 2020, following a complaint.
 
Promoting competition rules among business associations is among the AdC’s priorities for 2020. In this context, the AdC published the “Guide for Associations of Undertakings – With competition, everybody wins”, with the aim to inform business associations on decisions and behavior to be avoided to ensure compliance with competition rules. The guide is available at www.concorrencia.pt (Portuguese only).
 
The AdC emphasizes that issuing a Statement of Objections does not determine the final outcome of the investigation.  At this stage of the procedure, the undertakings are given the opportunity to exercise their rights of defence against the alleged infringements and possible applicable sanctions.
 
The Statement of Objections was issued on November 11, 2020.
 
November 12, 2020