Depo DIY store chain to pay €3.7 million for competition breaches

On January 25, the Senate Department of Administrative Affairs left unchanged an Administrative District Court judgment declaring the Competition Council's decision on the cartel between two building materials manufacturers and four traders on prolonged pricing of building materials and a penalty for trader LLC “Depo Diy” of €3,718,323 to be justified.

The Senate acknowledged that the district court's judgment rightly found that retailers, including “Depo,” had embraced and taken an active role in its execution because it was mutually economically beneficial.

The Senate said that, in the present case, the established activities of operators, including “Depo” (tracking retail prices charged by the producer and monitoring competitors so that they comply with them), were to be regarded as constituting a restriction of competition.

In 2020, the Administrative Regional Court rejected the application of the construction materials trader SIA “depo diy” for annulment of the Competition Council (KP) decision of 2017, maintaining in force a decision finding a prohibited agreement between two manufacturers of construction materials and four traders regarding the determination of prices of construction materials on shop shelves.

The KP found that among retailers it was LLC “Depo Diy” that was most actively involved in the control of resale prices, not only performing active supervision of the price discipline of other retailers, but also most actively influencing the development of resale price level.

KP imposed a fine of EUR 5.8 million on three building materials traders for the implemented cartel. Among the members of the cartel, Depo Diy was fined the harshest, amounting to EUR 3,718,323. Administrative agreements were concluded with “Knaufa”, “Norgips” and “Kruza”.

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