AdC conducts unannounced inspections in three cases in the first quarter of 2022
Press release 07/2022
May 2, 2022
Between January and March 2022, the Competition Authority (AdC) opened three investigations and carried out three unannounced inspections, including in the health sector linked to the pandemic.
During this period, the AdC also received four leniency applications.
Such activity meets one of the priorities defined for the year 2022, that of keeping the focus on the detection, investigation and sanctioning of anti-competitive practices that, under the current circumstances, have a more substantial impact on families and companies.
This priority is particularly important at a time when the economy faces significant challenges, which can lead to the creation of so-called "crisis cartels", those in which companies affected by a particular crisis collude to reduce supply or raise prices.
This is opportunistic but also illegal behavior, which makes the AdC's vigilance over anti-competitive behavior more pressing for consumers in this period.
Also in the first quarter of 2022, the AdC issued a sanction decision that resulted in a fine of around €80 million imposed on four supermarket chains, a juice and soft drinks supplier and two managers of the latter. For the same hub-and-spoke practice, a type of cartel-like collusion, the AdC closed the investigation phase in another case, sending a statement of objections to Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce, Auchan and the joint supplier Johnson&Johnson.
In the merger control area, AdC's activity in the first quarter of this year resulted in the issuance of 15 decisions, 13 of which were non-opposition decisions, and carried out three pre-merger evaluations.
Regarding competition advocacy, the AdC issued three studies, opinions and recommendations in the real estate, environment and transport sectors.
In the international activity, the AdC adhered to the joint declaration of the European Competition Network (ECN) on the application of competition laws in the context of the war in Ukraine, which expressed the concern of the competition authorities to ensure that essential products (e.g. energy, food and raw materials), remain available at competitive prices and that the current crisis is not used to weaken the level playing field between companies.
Margarida Matos Rosa, President of the AdC, has been appointed Vice-President for Growth and Recovery of the International Competition Network (ICN), an umbrella organization of the world's competition authorities.
 Know more at Leniency Programme | Autoridade da Concorrência (concorrencia.pt)
 Know more at 2022 Priorities | Autoridade da Concorrência (concorrencia.pt)