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PMÚ acts against freight firm

SLOVAKIA'S Anti-Monopoly Bureau (PMÚ) began administrative proceedings on March 18 against the railway company Železničná spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia on suspicion of predatory behaviour.

The proceeding follows the PMÚ imposing a Sk30 million (€790,000) fine on the freight operator in August 2004.

The firm was imposing a condition that forced companies to use its safety seals. Although Cargo Slovakia no longer does this, the company decided to provide its safety seals free of charge, the TASR news agency reported.

"That's why PMÚ began the administrative proceeding ex mero motu [of its own free will] against the company, on suspicion of predatory behaviour," PMÚ spokesman Miroslav Jurkovič said.

The PMÚ suspects Cargo Slovakia of abusing its dominant position with the aim squeezing out rival companies.

In another case, the PMÚ, at the behest of UPC Slovakia, began an administrative proceeding against Slovak Telecom (ST). The case stems from UPC having its cables, for historical reasons, placed in ST cable ducts. "Slovak Telecom gave the UPC company notice to vacate its cable ducts, which could endanger UPC sales and hence cause a loss," Jurkovič explained. The PMÚ will investigate the suspicion that ST is violating the Economic Competition Protection Act.

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