AdC fines Vallis group for non-notified merger

​Press Release 22/2017
AdC fines Vallis group for non-notified merger

The AdC has adopted a fining decision against Vallis Sustainable Investments I, Holding S.à.r.l. and Vallis Capital Partners, SGPS, S.A.  for consummating a merger without prior notification to the AdC through which the group acquired sole control of 32 Senses, a network of dentalcare clinics.

The group has been imposed a fine of €38.500 according to the turnover of each firm in 2016.
In accordance with the Portuguese Competition Act, mergers that meet certain criteria are subject to prior notification to the AdC and cannot be consummated without the AdC having made a final decision clearing the merger.

In this case, the parties consummated the merger without having made a prior notification to the AdC, which constitutes an infringement of competition law.
The parties introduced a settlement submission during the proceedings whereby they admitted the facts of the case and for which they assumed responsibility.

The AdC considered all the relevant facts, in particular:

  1. the parties reported the infringement to the AdC;
  2. the parties subsequently notified the merger to the AdC on their own accord and, as of that date, suspended all voting rights on the acquired firm;
  3. the AdC did not detect any competition concerns resulting from the merger or any tangible benefits to the parties; and
  4. the parties engaged in full cooperation with the investigation carried out by the AdC.

 

The settlement procedure established by the Portuguese Competition Act requires the parties to assume and take full responsibility for the facts of the case, and to agree to not bring a court action, for which they benefit from a reduction of the fine.

This settlement procedure allows for simpler and expeditious proceedings, thus promoting procedural efficiency by optimizing competition law enforcement.

For the second time since 2014, the AdC has imposed fines on firms for failing to notify a merger subject to prior notification according to the criteria established in the Portuguese Competition Act.

 27 December 2017