Autor: Suderow Fernandez Abogadas SLP

The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) sanctions the cartel of two of the main companies providing business information database services in Spain.


The companies sanctioned are Bureau Van Dijk Publicaciones Electronicas, S.A., as well as Informa D&B S.A.U..


Both Bureau Van Dijk Publicaciones Electrónicas, S.A. and Informa D&B S.A.U. are companies operating in the market for the provision of commercial economic and financial information services to third parties, being Informa the main company in the Spanish market.


The main products marketed jointly in Spain by both companies are Sabi, Amadeus and Orbis, on which the anticompetitive agreement fell.


The anticompetitive agreement


Through a meeting held on September 16, 2002, both companies reached an agreement that served as the basis for the relations between them from that date until the year 2021. The main purpose of the agreement was not to interfere in the acquisition of customers of the other company and to avoid price competition in the commercialization of the aforementioned products.


The change of customers was articulated through various strategies, one of them being the periodic exchange of lists of customers and prospects, so that one would not interfere in the customers and negotiations of the other.


The companies have also recognized direct pricing and maximum discounts between them, including agreements to match prices so that the customer would not have to choose between the two companies.


Both companies have benefited from the leniency program.


This type of agreement is prohibited by Article 1 of Law 15/2007, on Competition Defense, and constitutes a very serious infringement punishable by fines of up to 10% of the companies’ trading volume.


BvD has been exempted from the payment of the fine, as it was the first company to file the leniency application. Informa, however, has benefited from a 30% reduction of the amount of the penalty that would have corresponded to it, being the fine imposed of 3,558,135 euros, 7.8% of the trading volume.


The Spanish Competition Authority also considers that both companies meet the requirements to be excluded from the prohibition to contract provided for in article 71.1 b of the Public Sector Contracts Law, these being the payment or commitment to pay the fine established in the administrative resolution from which the prohibition to contract derives and the adoption of measures to avoid the commission of future administrative infractions.