Comment from our Competition law team in relation to a significant decision of the Cypriot Competition Authority

Senior associate Ramona Livera, associate Demetris Gregoriou and trainee lawyer Aylin Zeybek of our firm, have recently contributed an interesting analysis to the reputable competition law publication “Concurrences”, in relation to the E.C. Kyrillou Eyecare / D.S. Demetriou Enterprises case.

In particular, on 16 of June 2020, the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition delivered a decision concerning a complaint filed by E.C. Kyrillou Eyecare Ltd against D.S. Demetriou Enterprises Limited, in relation to an alleged infringement of Article 3 and Article 6 of the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014 (the “Law”) which prohibits practices that prevent, restrict or distort competition within the Republic of Cyprus and the abuse of a dominant position or relationship of economic independence.

The subject matter of the complaint under consideration concerns an alleged infringement of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law. Specifically, the Complainant alleged that there was an infringement of Article 3 of the Law, prohibiting practices which restrict trade. This was on the grounds that Redex and D.S. Demetriou refused to supply it with goods, excluded it from sources of supply and stopped supplying the products after being requested to do so by competitors in the region. It also alleged the conduct of Redex and D.S. Demetriou placed it at a disadvantage vis-à-vis its competitors, whom the Defendants supply with the eyewear brands for which they have exclusive rights, causing serious financial damage to the Complainant’s business.

In addition, the Complainant submitted allegations which, in its view, also constitute an infringement of Article 6 of the Law. It was  claimed that the Defendants were abusing their dominant position in relation to the eyewear brands they supply, since the consequence of their conduct is directly or indirectly fixing unfair purchase or sale prices or other unfair terms of trade in the circumstances, restricting the availability of products to the detriment of consumers and placing the Complainant’s business at a disadvantage.

In carrying out an extensive analysis of all the facts and legal considerations of the case and through the evaluation of the evidence in the file of the case, supported by relevant case law and legislation, the Commission concluded that there was no infringement of Article 3 and/or Article 6 of the Law.

The Commission’s decision is significant because it provides an in-depth analysis of the requirements which are necessary in order to substantiate offensive behaviour within the ambit of Article 3 and the requirements for establishing a dominant position and abuse thereof in contravention of Article 6 of the Law.

An under subscription version can be accessed here.