Competition investigates banks for possible anti-competitive practices in access to ATMs

The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) investigates possible anticompetitive practices consisting of a "systematic and unjustified denial" of access to a network of ATMs to certain financial entities under the same favorable conditions as those offered to other entities.

This practice, indicates the CNMC, would have been developed for several years until now, with the objective of damaging the competitive capacity of certain entities in the market for the provision of means of payment.

The CNMC conducted between September 25 and 27 home inspections at the headquarters of several companies that operate in the aforementioned market, both in banking entities and in network administrators. Such inspections are part of the investigation opened by the CNMC following the receipt of a complaint, which is currently being processed.

The inspections represent a preliminary step in the process of investigating the alleged anti-competitive behaviors and do not prejudge the outcome of the investigation or the guilt of the companies inspected. If, as a result of the inspection, indications of practices prohibited by the Law on the Defense of Competition are found, the formal initiation of the disciplinary proceedings will proceed.

The CNMC recalls that agreements between competitors constitute a very serious violation of competition law, which can lead to fines of up to 10% of the total turnover of the infringing companies. The investigation of the cartels is one of the priorities of the CNMC, given the special gravity of its consequences on consumers and on the proper functioning of the markets.

For this, there is, among others, the clemency program, which allows companies that are part of a cartel to benefit from the exemption from the payment of the fine, provided they provide evidence that allows the CNMC to detect it, or a reduction in the amount of the fine that could be imposed, if it provides information with significant added value, in relation to an investigation already initiated by the CNMC.

The CNMC also has an online citizen collaboration platform for the detection of cartels. Through it you can provide anonymous information about possible secret agreements between competing companies for pricing or other commercial conditions, or the distribution of markets or customers.

. (tagsToTranslate) CNMC (t) investigates (t) bank (t) anti-competitive entities (t)

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