Hellenic Competition Commission: Investigation (ex officio and following a complaint by Mythos Brewery S.A.) into alleged infringements of Articles 2 of Law 703/77, 2 of Law 3959/2011 and Article 102 TFEU, by Athenian Brewery S.A. in the greek beer market

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Investigation (ex officio and following a complaint by Mythos Brewery S.A.) into alleged infringements of Articles 2 of Law 703/77, 2 of Law 3959/2011 and Article 102 TFEU, by Athenian Brewery S.A. in the greek beer market
Following the issuing of a statement of objections, the Hellenic Competition Commission shall convene by end-February 2013 to hear a case of alleged infringements of Article 2 L. 703/1977, now Article 2 L. 3959/2011 and of Article 102 TFEU (in particular, abuse of a dominant position) in connection with commercial practices employed by Athenian Brewery S.A. in the greek beer market.
According to the statement of objections, the dominant company Athenian Brewery S.A. has adopted and implemented a single, multi-faceted, long-standing and targeted policy that sought to exclude its competitors from HORECA chains and small retail outlets, and to limit their growth possibilities. To achieve this objective, Athenian Brewery S.A. employed various commercial practices, including exclusivity agreements, target rebates, as well as various types of significant payments conditional upon exclusivity or the banning of competitive brands. The statement of objections further maintains that Athenian Brewery S.A. engaged in a series of acts aimed at excluding competitors at the wholesale level through a multitude of significant economic motives in exchange for exclusivity as well as threat of retaliatory measures in case wholesalers traded or introduced competitors’ products.
The issuing of a statement of objections does not prejudge the existence of an infringement. The Hellenic Competition Commission will decide upon the case, taking into account all relevant facts and after hearing all implicated parties.

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