By its unanimous Decision No. 628/2016, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) established the terms and conditions of the settlement procedure in cartel cases, according to the provisions of Articles 25a and 14 par 2 of the Greek Competition Act.
The new Settlement Procedure concerns cases where undertakings or associations of undertakings make a clear and unequivocal acknowledgement of participation and liability in relation to their participation in horizontal agreements (cartels) and the subsequent breach of competition law (Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and/or Article 101 TFEU). As a result, they can obtain a reduction of the imposed fine by 15%, provided that certain conditions are fulfilled.
The new Settlement Procedure, which is essentially modeled after the EU equivalent procedure, aims at simplifying and speeding up the handling of pending cases. It would allow the HCC to achieve efficiencies through a streamlined administrative process, resulting in a relatively more expedited adoption of infringement decisions regarding Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and/or Article 101 TFEU. In addition, the
settlement procedure provides scope for a reduction in the number of appeals against the HCC’s decisions before administrative courts. In turn, this would allow a better allocation of resources, in order to deal with more cases, thereby increasing the deterrence effect of the HCC’s enforcement action, while simultaneously increasing citizens’ awareness in the effective and timely punishment of undertakings infringing competition law.