The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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CCA carries out surprise inspection of land surveyors

In line with its powers under the Croatian Competition Act and after obtaining the injunction of the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) carried out the surprise inspection of the business premisses of the undertakings Aequitas d.o.o., Split and Geoprojekt d.d., Split.

Namely, on 28 December 2023 the CCA opened ex officio infringement proceeding against the undertaking Aequitas d.o.o., Split, and the bidding association consisting of the undertakings Geoprojekt d.d., Split, Eptisa Adria, Zagreb and Ad con, Zadar to investigate whether these undertakings distorted competition by participating in bid rigging within the meaning of Article 8 of the Competition Act, in the competitive high-value tender called by the contractor Hrvatske ceste (Croatian Roads Company) for the surveillance of the construction of 2.5 km long Mravince junction TTTS with connecting roads phase 4 and 5, published in the Electronic Public Procurement Database of the Republic of Croatia under no. 2022/S 0F2-0045515. The initiative for the opening of this infringement procedure was submitted by the contractor Hrvatske ceste.

The CCA decided to conduct the unannounced inspection of the business premises of the undertakings concerned with the view to establishing additional facts and circumstances of the case and collecting evidence that would support the indications that lead to opening the infringement proceedings, in line with its powers under the Competition Act and based on the injunction of the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia.

The decision on whether the surveyors in question infringed competition rules by entering into a prohibited agreement (bid rigging) in the sense of Article 8 paragraph 1 of the Competition Act, will be made on the merit of the case according to the established facts of the case.

In this regard, the CCA notes that the mere opening of an infringement proceeding and conducting the unannounced inspection does not prejudice the CCA decision in the case concerned.