The Competition Court considered at that time that these companies had entered into an agreement forbidden by the former Competition Act in its Article 1.1.a) (actually also article 1.1.(a) of the New Competition Act 15/2007 of July 3). This agreement consisted, according to the Competition Court, in the fixing of minimum prices for the retailing of olive oil for the brands Carbonell 0,4º and Koipesol.
SOS CUETARA presented a special appeal following the protection of fundamental rights procedure considering that some of the evidences they presented before the Competition Court were not enough considered by it. Particularly this Court did not accept some declarations by some relevant testimonies and some polls produced by Consumer Associations.
The Court of Appeal (Audiencia Nacional) has considered that the Competition Court had correctly considered the evidences, even if it refused some of them, mainly because the appealing party did not justified that with the non admitted evidences the decision of the Competition Court would have been different. The conclusion is that the lack of admission of certain evidences has not produced a breaching of the fundamental rights (right to the defence).
This said, the Audiencia Nacional will consider further on and in an ordinary procedure whether the decision issued by the Competition Court was according to the law or not.
Ignacio Alonso, IDI Country Expert for Spain.