Dawn Raid Derailment—A Cautionary Tale

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The European Commission ("Commission") issued a preliminary finding that ZSSK, Slovakia’s state-owned railway, obstructed a dawn raid ("inspection") and infringed its obligation to comply with inspectors. The Commission alleges that during a 2016 inspection related to exclusionary conduct, ZSSK may have misled officials as to the location of a laptop and installed a new operating system, which overwrote relevant data. ZSSK faces fines up to 1 percent of its annual revenue. The Commission’s finding sends the message that it will not tolerate obstruction of inspections, which are one of the Commission’s key investigative tools in uncovering anticompetitive conduct.