The Merger Control Review: Greece

Introduction

i Authorities

The national competition authority dealing in principle with mergers in Greece is the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC). The HCC is an administratively and financially independent authority with a separate legal personality. The HCC consists of eight regular members with a five-year term and is under the supervision of the Minister for Development and Investments.

The HCC is assisted in its tasks by the Directorate General for Competition (DGC).2

In October 2020, a new structure for the HCC and the DGC was implemented. The main features of this reform consist of the setting up of: (1) interdisciplinary 'mixed' sectoral directorates, which replace the old model of distinct legal service and economics directorates; (2) 'horizontal' units for economic research and documentation and for forensic investigation and detection; and (3) a chief legal officer directorate. Each sectoral directorate is formed of two units: one legal unit and one for economic analysis and impact assessment, which focuses on one or more adjacent economic sectors. The chief legal officer directorate is mainly tasked with the second-level legal review of draft acts and proposals for legal acts, including draft documents and legal acts in merger control cases. Finally, the new structure also includes directorates that report directly to the chair of the HCC and an office of the Legal Counsel of the State.

In addition, the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) is competent for the enforcement of the Greek Competition Act, including merger control provisions, in the electronic communications sector. The EETT has provided its clearance in two notable merger control cases in the electronic communications market (namely, the acquisitions of Hellas Online3 and Cyta Hellas4 by Vodafone).

As regards merger control, all other economic sectors fall within the competence of the HCC.

ii Statutes, regulations and guidelines

The main piece of legislation relating to merger control in Greece is Law 3959/2011 on the protection of free competition,5 as amended and in force (the Greek Competition Act) (in principle, Articles 5 to 10), abolishing and replacing the former Greek Competition Act.6 The Greek Competition Act mirrors, in essence, the provisions under the EU merger control regime.7

In addition, the HCC has rendered a number of decisions and notices covering the merger control field, such as: (1) Decision 524/VI/2011 'establishing the form for the submission of commitments in merger cases'; (2) Decision 558/VII/2013 'determining the specific content of merger notifications pursuant to the Greek Competition Act'; and (3) Notice 'on the notification of concentrations with a community dimension (of 22 October 2009)'.

The HCC also takes into account the relevant EU principles, guidelines and case law as guidance on substantive assessment in merger control review.

Finally, concentrations in the media sector (TV, radio, newspapers and magazines) are governed by both the Greek Competition Act and Law 3592/2007, as amended and in force (the Greek Media Law).

iii Pre-merger notification or approval

Under the current merger control regime, a mandatory notification system applies to certain categories of transactions (referred to as 'concentrations' under the Greek Competition Act) before their implementation, provided that a change of control on a lasting basis arises and specific jurisdictional thresholds are met.

In particular, under the Greek Competition Act, a change of control is deemed to arise where (1) two or more previously independent undertakings (or parts thereof) merge, or (2) one or more persons already controlling at least one undertaking, or one or more undertakings, acquire direct or indirect control of the whole or parts of one or more other undertakings.

In addition, the establishment of a full-function joint venture (i.e., of a joint venture performing on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous economic entity) is also treated as a concentration, therefore falling within the ambit of Greek merger control rules. To the extent that the establishment of a joint venture constituting a concentration has as its object or effect the coordination of the competitive behaviour of companies that remain independent, such coordination is examined under Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act (equivalent to Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). For this purpose, the HCC shall take into account, in particular, (1) whether the parent companies retain, to a significant extent, activities in the same market or in a downstream, upstream or closely related market, and (2) whether the coordination, which is the direct consequence of the establishment of the joint venture, may eliminate competition in a substantial part of the relevant market.

Concentrations shall be notified to the HCC (and not be fulfilled prior to the HCC's decision) where (1) the combined aggregate worldwide turnover of the undertakings concerned amounts to at least €150 million, and (2) at least two of the undertakings concerned realise, separately, a turnover totalling at least €15 million in Greece.

Guidance on the turnover calculations is provided under the Greek Competition Act (Article 10), whereas special rules apply with regard to the calculation of turnover of credit institutions, financial institutions and insurance companies.

Lower jurisdictional thresholds apply in the media sector. In particular, under the Greek Media Law, a concentration must be notified to the HCC where (1) the parties involved have achieved a combined aggregate worldwide turnover of at least €50 million, and (2) each of at least two of the undertakings concerned generate a turnover totalling at least €5 million in Greece.

Where the above thresholds are met, the notification of the transaction before the HCC is compulsory and subject to the authority's prior clearance, even if it is implemented outside Greece or the undertakings involved are established outside Greece (foreign-to-foreign transactions).

Year in review

i Statistics

According to publicly available information, the total number of notifications and cases examined by the HCC between 2000 and 2017 was 373.8 The number of decisions issued by the HCC, however, differs every year (usually between 10 and 20). According to its 2018 Annual Report, 18 merger control cases were notified before the HCC in 2018, out of which 13 were cleared during the year.9 In 2019, 15 merger control cases were notified before the HCC, out of which 12 were cleared during the year.10

In 2020, the HCC issued 14 merger control decisions according to publicly available information. Of those:

  1. 11 cases were cleared by the HCC following a Phase I review;
  2. one case was taken to an in-depth review (Phase II);
  3. one case involved the revision of commitments that were undertaken under a former HCC conditional clearance decision;11 and
  4. one case involved the review of compliance with the commitments that were undertaken under a former HCC conditional clearance decision.12

So far in 2021, according to publicly available information, the HCC has given unconditional clearance to six notified concentrations, out of which one has been cleared following an in-depth review (Phase II). In addition, the HCC has issued two decisions involving the extension of commitments that were undertaken under former HCC clearance decisions.

ii Recent key cases

Below we set out some recent key merger control cases.

Skroutz (acquisition of negative sole control, online platforms, Phase I)

On 24 June 2020, the HCC rendered its clearance decision13 to the notified acquisition of negative sole control of Skroutz Internet Services SA, a Greek company active in the e-commerce sector through the operation of a price comparison platform, an online marketplace and an online restaurant platform, and the provision of online advertising services, by SAIGA Sàrl, a holding company becoming the largest minority shareholder in Skroutz post-completion (Phase I review).

The HCC looked thoroughly into the issue of control. Based on the HCC's decision, although the parties held the view that the notified transaction would lead to a de facto joint control situation,14 the authority focused on the fact that SAIGA would become the only (minority) shareholder with the ability to veto the strategic decisions in Skroutz, whereas the rest of the minority shareholders would not have such a level of influence in the company. Ultimately, the HCC concluded that SAIGA obtained negative sole control over Skroutz, irrespective of its minority shareholding therein. In reaching this conclusion, the HCC took into account that, inter alia, there were no strong common interests (e.g., economic or family ties) among other minority shareholders and, in particular, among Skroutz's founders that would de facto necessitate their common action, thus leading to a joint control scenario.

In terms of market definition, the HCC largely relied on the approach and argumentation of the European Commission in the Google Search (Shopping) case,15 but ultimately left the matter of whether price comparison platforms and online marketplaces belong to the same product market, as supported by the parties, open. The HCC also identified a market for online advertising platforms (including display advertising, classifieds and directories and paid-for-search advertising), as well as a market for online restaurant platforms in line with the UK Competition and Markets Authority's Just Eat/Hungryhouse and Amazon/Deliveroo case law.

Masoutis (revision of commitments)

In 2020, Masoutis SA Supermarket, a company active in the supermarket sector, requested the revision of the commitments undertaken in the context of the HCC's 2018 decision clearing the Masoutis/Promitheutiki transaction.16 In particular, Masoutis had undertaken the obligation to sell the target's store located in Agios Spyridonas on the island of Andros within nine months of the issuance of the HCC decision.

However, Masoutis was unsuccessful in completing the divestment and filed a request for the revision of the commitment before the HCC. To this end, Masoutis invoked material changes in market conditions as a result of the operation of a new supermarket store in Andros and the potential entrance of other competitors to the market in question. In view of the above, Masoutis proposed to divest a store located elsewhere, in the area of Anemomiloi on the island of Andros, instead of the store that formed part of the commitment.

The HCC accepted Masoutis' request,17 although it considered that the market conditions did not materially change following the entrance of a new competitor on the market.18 Instead, the HCC noted that, as result of the non-implementation of the undertaken commitment, the market shares of the new entity were still disproportionately high (i.e., above 50 per cent) on Andros. In this context, the HCC assessed two factors for satisfying Masoutis' request: (1) the need to limit the market shares of the new entity; and (2) the unprecedented financial and social circumstances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In light of these factors, the HCC considered that the proposed revision of the commitment was the most satisfactory solution for the decrease in the new entity's market share. It is interesting that the HCC reached this outcome, even though under its analysis, the revision of the divestment would result in a market share of over 50 per cent and, thus, it could only partially restore competition conditions in the market. Hence, the HCC took a rather pragmatic approach, taking into account the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and adverse economic conditions, thus favouring the most effective – under the circumstances – scenario addressing, even partially, its competition concerns.

Adama/Alfa (agrochemical products, Phase II without remedies)

In another recent case involving a merger in the agrochemical products sector19 (the acquisition of sole control over Alfa by Adama BV), the HCC granted its unconditional clearance following a Phase II review.

The transaction consisted of the acquisition of sole control by Adama BV, a member of the Chemchina group active in the production and trade of agrochemical products (mainly, crop protection products), through the Adama and Sygenta groups, over Alfa, a Greek company active in the distribution of agrochemical products and the exclusive distributor of Adama group products in Greece. The concentration was found to give rise to horizontal effects, as the activities of the undertakings concerned overlapped in the Greek market for the wholesale distribution of the aforementioned agrochemical products, and vertical effects, as Chemchina group is active in the upstream market for supply and Alfa is active in the downstream market for distribution of said products.

It is interesting that the HCC distinguished between three different categories of affected markets: (1) the affected markets where the combined market share of the parties is high, with an increment of over 5 per cent; (2) the affected markets where the parties have a high market share, but the increment is under 5 per cent; and (3) the affected markets where the high combined market share is not the result of the concentration but rather of the exclusive distribution relationship between Adama and Alfa.

The HCC's assessment mainly focused on the affected markets under (1), taking several factors into account, including the existence of strong competitors in the market (e.g., Bayer, BASF) and the existing relationship between the parties, as well as the parties' declining market shares. Finally, the HCC reviewed the potential conglomerate effects of the concentration as a result of the presence of Alfa in the Greek market for the distribution of fertilisers. In particular, the HCC dealt with the possibility of Alfa becoming a one-stop shop for end consumers (farmers) and proceeding to bundling practices (through bundled rebates for crop protection products and fertilisers). However, the HCC concluded that the concentration could not lead to market foreclosure and reserved its right to examine potential bundling practices ex post.

The merger control regime

i Waiting periods and time frames

Specific deadlines apply with regard to pre-merger notifications of qualifying transactions and HCC scrutiny of the notified concentrations under the Greek Competition Act.

In particular, pre-merger filings must be submitted to the HCC within 30 calendar days of the conclusion of the agreement or the announcement of the bid to buy or exchange, or the assumption of an obligation to acquire a controlling interest in an undertaking. According to HCC case law, the above deadline may also be triggered by the execution of a preliminary document of a binding nature (e.g., memorandum of understanding).20 This assessment is made by the HCC on a case-by-case basis.

Where a wilful failure to observe the above statutory deadline occurs, the HCC may impose on the undertakings concerned a fine of from €30,000 to 10 per cent of their aggregate group turnover.

In addition, a mandatory suspensory effect of the notified transaction is also provided for under the Greek Competition Act. This means that the consummation of the transaction is suspended until the HCC decides to clear or prohibit the notified concentration. Derogation may be granted upon request for the reason of prevention of serious damage to one or more undertakings concerned or to a third party (full derogation).

The HCC imposed one of its highest fines in the Minoan Flying Dolphins case for realisation and notification failure of 21 concentrations in the domestic maritime sector (approximately €6.3 million).21 More recently, the HCC imposed fines amounting to €110,000 against the media company Dimera Media Investments for failure to notify and violation of the standstill obligation.22 In 2021, the HCC is dealing with two cases involving (1) failure to notify and gun-jumping,23 and (2) late notification.24

The duty to suspend a concentration will not prevent the implementation of a public bid to buy or exchange, or the acquisition through the stock market of a controlling interest, when such transaction is notified to the HCC and provided that the acquirer does not exercise the voting rights attached to the securities or does so to protect the investment value and on the basis of a derogation granted by the HCC (partial derogation).

In the case of gun-jumping (violation of suspensory effect), the HCC may impose the same sanctions as above. In addition, if the concentration is realised contrary to a prohibitive provision or decision, the HCC may order (1) the separation of the undertakings concerned, through the dissolution of the merger or the sale of the shares or assets acquired, and (2) any other measure appropriate for the dissolution of the concentration or any other restorative measures.

As regards review of the notified concentration, the HCC may examine it in one or two phases, as follows.

  1. If the notified concentration does not meet the statutory thresholds and, therefore, does not fall within the ambit of the Greek Competition Act, the chair of the HCC will issue a decision to that effect within one month of notification.
  2. If the notified concentration, although meeting the statutory thresholds, does not raise serious doubts as to the possibility of significantly restricting competition in the relevant markets, the HCC will decide to approve the transaction within one month of notification (Phase I clearance).
  3. If the notified concentration meets the statutory thresholds and raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with competition conditions in the relevant markets, the HCC's chair will decide, within one month of notification, to initiate proceedings for the full examination of the transaction and will inform, without delay, the undertakings concerned (initiation of Phase II proceedings). In this case, the matter will be introduced before the HCC within 45 days. Upon being informed that proceedings will be initiated, the undertakings concerned may jointly proceed to adjust the concentration or suggest commitments to remove any serious doubts as to the compatibility of the transaction with the competition rules in the relevant markets, and notify these to the HCC (within 20 days of the introduction of the case before the HCC).
  4. A decision prohibiting the notified concentration must be issued within 90 days of the commencement of the Phase II proceedings. If such negative ruling has not been issued upon expiry of the above deadline, the concentration will be deemed to have been approved and the HCC will have to issue an act to that effect. The HCC may attach conditions to the decision approving the merger.

The above statutory deadlines for the issuance of a decision by the HCC may be extended when: (1) this is agreed by the notifying parties; (2) the notification form is incomplete; or (3) the notification is erroneous or misleading so that the HCC is not able to assess the notified concentration. Regarding points (2) and (3), the HCC is obliged to request corrections to the initial notification from the notifying parties within seven business days of the date of notification. The deadlines for the issuance of a Phase I clearance or for the institution of Phase II proceedings are deemed to commence only upon submission of complete and accurate data.

In exceptional cases, the above deadlines (except for the one-month deadline for issuance of the chair's decision archiving the notification as falling outside the Greek Competition Act) are suspended if the undertakings concerned fail to comply with their obligation to provide information in accordance with the Greek Competition Act, and under the condition that they are advised accordingly within two days of the expiry of the time limit determined by the HCC for the provision of such information.

Ancillary restrictions that are directly connected to and necessary for the implementation of a concentration are also covered by HCC clearance decisions (although the HCC may require the restriction of any such ancillary restrictions in terms of scope or time, if deemed appropriate, in accordance with the relevant EU guidelines).

ii Parties' ability to accelerate the review procedure, tender offers and hostile transactions

The Greek Competition Act does not provide for the notifying parties' ability to accelerate the review procedure. In practice, the HCC has a track record of meeting deadlines once notifications are deemed complete.

With regard to the possibility for partial derogation in public bids, see Section III.i.

In terms of hostile transactions, these are rarely dealt with by the HCC. A notable hostile transaction that has undergone HCC scrutiny extends back to 2010 (Vivartia/Mevgal). The transaction was cleared with conditions, by virtue of HCC Decision 515/VI/2011, but was dropped and notified again a few years later. In particular, by means of HCC Decision 598/2014, the notified concentration was cleared again, but fulfilment did not take place. Control over Mevgal was later converted from sole to joint following the granting of the HCC's (third) conditional clearance.25 Note that the HCC, in its Decision 558/VII/2013 'determining the specific content of merger notifications pursuant to the Greek Competition Act', explicitly provides that:

[t]he parties obliged to notify may submit a written request to the HCC for the acceptance of their notification, even if they do not submit all the required information, if such information is not wholly or partially at their disposal (e.g., in case of an undertaking forming a hostile acquisition target).

iii Third-party access to the file and rights to challenge mergers

In general, third parties are not granted access to pending case files, including merger control cases.26 However, the HCC may invite third parties to act as witnesses in the hearing of a pending case, where their involvement is considered to contribute to the case review. In addition, third parties may also submit a memorandum to the HCC in the context of a pending case, including merger control, which is made available to the notifying parties. In limited cases, the HCC may allow third parties to obtain access to the non-confidential version of parties' memoranda and records of the proceedings.

In essence, third parties obtain official knowledge of the proposed concentration by means of the publication of the notified concentration in a daily financial newspaper with national coverage, within five days of the notification of the concentration, after which they may comment or provide relevant information to the HCC within 15 days.

iv Resolution of authorities' competition concerns, appeals and judicial review

The HCC may clear the notified transaction subject to conditions so that the concentration may be rendered compatible with the applicable substantive test for assessing the legality of the merger (i.e., whether the notified transaction is likely to significantly restrict competition on the national market or in a substantial part thereof, taking into account the involved products' services characteristics, particularly by creating or strengthening a dominant position). Therefore, the notifying parties may offer remedies to alleviate any concerns of the HCC, which are to be negotiated between the notifying parties and the authority. In particular, remedies are offered within 20 days of the date of introduction of the case before the HCC, and only in exceptional cases after the lapse of this period. Parties wishing to propose remedies must file the relevant form, which also includes a model text for divestitures and for trustee mandates, and which is available on the HCC's website.27

HCC decisions may be appealed against before the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the Council of State. The right to appeal lies with the notifying parties, the Greek state and any third party with a legitimate interest.

If an HCC decision is partially or wholly annulled by the administrative courts, the HCC shall re-examine the concentration in light of existing market conditions. To this end, the notifying parties shall submit a revised or supplemental version of the notification if there is a change of conditions.

v Effect of regulatory review

Concurrent review of mergers by more than one body is not possible under Greek merger control rules. This would be the same for transactions that also touch upon the electronic communications sector.28 For example, in a recent acquisition of control case (Vodafone/CYTA),29 the HCC provided significant input regarding its interrelation in terms of competence with other national authorities, authorised by law to implement the Greek Competition Act (i.e., EETT). In this case, the HCC cleared the transaction only with respect to the media aspect of the concentration (i.e., pay-TV services), whereas it decided to abstain from the assessment of the aspect of the concentration for which the EETT had already initiated a relevant review (multiple play services). In turn, the EETT cleared the transaction later in the year.30

As regards limitation suspensory effect of review and periods for completion of the review, see Section III.i.

Other strategic considerations

i How to coordinate with other jurisdictions

Under the Greek Competition Act, the HCC, being the national competition authority, is responsible for cooperation with: (1) the competition authorities of the European Commission, rendering any necessary assistance to their designated bodies for the conduct of investigations provided under EU law; and (2) the competition authorities of other EU Member States.31

In practice, the HCC cooperates closely with the competition authorities of other EU Member States, as well as with the competition authorities of third countries, through the European Competition Network and the International Competition Network. The HCC also participates actively in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

ii How to deal with special situations

If a party to the notified concentration faces financial distress or insolvency, the failing firm defence may be raised before the HCC as part of the merger review process. Although the HCC has not dealt per se with this defence, in the sense that it has not rendered any clearance decision on this basis to date, it could be reasonably expected to follow relevant EU precedents in similar future cases.

The HCC may take into account the financial situation of the undertakings concerned when calculating the applicable fine in the case of violation of the standstill obligation.32 This aspect was, for example, looked into in the Dimera/Radioteleoptiki case,33 in which the HCC took into account for the calculation of the fine (1) the acquiring entity's low market shares in the relevant markets, (2) the limited economic capacity of the undertakings participating in the concentration and (3) the absence of any affected horizontal and vertical markets.

With regard to minority ownership interests, the HCC takes the stance that these may also confer the possibility of control. In particular, the definition of control under the Greek Competition Act remains identical to that of the EC Merger Regulation, and the HCC heavily follows the EU paradigm. Essentially, control is associated with the possibility of exercising decisive influence over an undertaking's activities. Accordingly, a finding of acquisition of control is possible even in relation to the acquisition of a minority interest if the surrounding circumstances are such as to confer actual control in the sense of being able to block actions relating to the strategic commercial policy of an undertaking.34 This has been ruled by the HCC in the Folli-Follie/Duty Free Shops case, where, although Folli-Follie held a minority stake in the acquired entity, it was deemed to be exercising control as it was the only entity in a position to veto strategic decisions of the acquired entity.35 Exercise of joint control by minority shareholders was recently touched upon by the HCC in the GEK TERNA/Nea Odos case,36 in which it was stated that joint control may also occur in the case of inequality in votes:

[w]here minority shareholders have additional rights which allow them to veto decisions which are essential for the strategic commercial behaviour of the joint venture. . . . The veto rights themselves may operate by means of a specific quorum required for decisions taken at the shareholders' meeting or by the board of directors to the extent that the parent companies are represented on this board.

Outlook and conclusions

For the HCC, 2020 was arguably a fruitful year from a merger control standpoint, taking into account the number of concentrations brought before the authority, notwithstanding adverse covid-19 conditions. The majority of the cases did not undergo an in-depth review, as Phase II was initiated in only one case, without the undertaking of any remedies. In addition, the HCC also followed its long-standing practice in 2020 by not blocking any notified concentrations. Apart from typical merger control clearance procedures, the HCC also looked into other merger control issues, such as failure to comply with remedies, requests for lifting or revision of remedies and matters pertaining to failure to (promptly) notify, and gun-jumping issues.

From an organisational point of view, the internal structure of the HCC and DGC underwent changes reflecting a more market-oriented approach, which may also potentially affect merger enforcement. The trend of internal modernisation was also reflected in the HCC publishing its 'Manual of Operational Procedures' aimed at providing practical guidance to staff (and the public) on the conduct of procedures relating to the application of the Greek Competition Act, including its merger control provisions.

Finally, looking ahead, the adoption of an amended Greek Competition Act is hoped to occur later in 2021. By way of background, a legislative committee was set up in 2020 with the mandate to review and propose legislative amendments to the Greek Competition Act in an effort to modernise competition rules in the digital age by introducing structural changes to Greek competition legislation.

Although no changes are expected to occur in the merger control part of the Greek Competition Act, it remains to be seen whether the possibility of offering remedies during Phase I review will be introduced in line with expressed opinions and discussions held on this subject.

Footnotes

1 Tania Patsalia is a senior associate and Vangelis Kalogiannis is a junior associate at Bernitsas Law.

2 The DGC assists the HCC in its work, by identifying and documenting the practices of undertakings that restrict or distort competition and by ensuring that entry barriers to the market are removed, ensuring that it is free and open to all undertakings. To this end, the DGC is responsible for the control and legal documentation of business practices and concentrations of undertakings that fall within the ambit of the Greek Competition Act.

3 EETT Decision 733/047 of 18 September 2014.

4 EETT Decision 857/7 of 28 June 2018.

5 Official Gazette A' 93/20 April 2011.

6 Law 703/1977.

7 See Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the EC Merger Regulation), as amended and in force.

8 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Peer Reviews of Competition Law and Policy, Greece 2018, p. 48.

9 HCC Annual Activity Report for 2018, p. 84.

10 HCC Annual Activity Report for 2019, p. 83.

11 HCC Decision 665/2018.

12 HCC Decision 658/2018.

13 HCC Decision 714/2020.

14 In particular, the parties stated that the founders would continue to play an important role in the operation of Skroutz post-completion due to the knowledge they possessed with respect to the operation of Skroutz, as they were the developers of Skroutz's software and business plan, and their envisaged participation in the day-to-day management of the company. Hence, there would be a strong motive for SAIGA to take into account the opinion of the founders as regards the target's strategic decisions. In addition, the parties submitted that the founders would act collectively post-completion.

15 AT. 39740.

16 HCC Decision 665/2018. See, in detail, Merger Control Review 2019, pp. 201–202.

17 HCC Decision 713/2020.

18 In particular, the HCC noted that despite the market share of the new entity (formed as part of the Masoutis/Promitheutiki transaction) dropping after the entrance of the new competitor, it still exceeded 50 per cent, and, hence, Masoutis' position in the market did not significantly change.

19 HCC Decision 712/2020.

20 HCC Decisions 383/V/2008, 632/2016 and 633/2016.

21 HCC Decision 210/III/2002.

22 HCC Decisions 652/2017 and 655/2018.

23 See HCC press release dated 16 December 2020, pursuant to which a hearing was scheduled for 8 January 2021 for the HCC to decide upon failure to notify and gun-jumping of the concentration involving the creation of a joint venture by PPC Renewables and TERNA Energeiaki in the market of production of electricity from renewables. Under the HCC Rapporteur's statement of objections, the required fault was not met in the present case, resulting in non-satisfaction of the conditions for the finding of the infringement of failure to notify. At the time of writing, no further HCC press release or decision has been issued.

24 Under an HCC press release dated 2 April 2021, the HCC scheduled a hearing for 9 June 2021 to decide, among other things, on the late notification of the concentration involving acquisition of sole control by OPAP over Greek and Cypriot activities of Kaizen Gaming International Ltd. Under HCC Rapporteur's statement of objections, it is recommended that a fine is imposed against OPAP for this violation. At the time of writing, no further HCC press release or decision had been issued.

25 HCC Decision 650/2017.

26 Article 15, Paragraph 9 of HCC's Rules of Internal Procedure and Management.

27 HCC Decision 524/VI/2011.

28 See Section I.i.

29 HCC Decision 656/2018.

30 EETT Decision 857/7 of 28 June 2018.

31 Article 28 of the Greek Competition Act.

32 id. at Article 9.

33 HCC Decision 652/2017.

34 HCC Decision 427/V/2009.

35 HCC Decision 308/V/2006. See also the aforementioned HCC Decision 714/2020 (footnote 13).

36 HCC Decision 673/2018.

Get unlimited access to all The Law Reviews content