Case details

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Anticompetitive practices
Case reference
PRC/2020/5
Entities involved
  • SIBS – Forward Payment Solutions, S.A.
  • SIBS Cartões – Produção e Processamento de Cartões, S.A.
  • SIBS Gest, S.A.
  • SIBS International, S.A.
  • SIBS MB, S.A.
  • SIBS Pagamentos, S.A.
  • SIBS Processos – Serviços Interbancarios de Processamento, S.A.
  • SIBS SGPS, S.A.
Natural persons involved
No
Sector
  • Banking, Financial and Insurance activities
Activity (NACE)
  • J6209 - Other information technology and computer service activities
  • K6619 - Other activities auxiliary to financial services, except insurance and pension funding
Investigated practice
  • Abuse of dominant position
Legal provisions
  • European-TFEU-Article 102
  • National-Law 19/2012-Article 11
Case origin
Ex-officio
Dawn raids
Yes
Cooperation with sector regulators
  • BdP - Bank of Portugal
Status
Ongoing
AdC’s decision
Settlement
Sanction imposed
Summary of the case

The Portuguese Competition Authority (“AdC”) initiated ex-officio proceedings on 17.11.2020 against several entities of the SIBS Group, i.e. SIBS, SGPS, S.A., SIBS – FORWARD PAYMENT SOLUTIONS, S.A., SIBS MB, S.A., SIBS PAGAMENTOS, S.A., SIBS CARTÕES – PRODUÇÃO E PROCESSAMENTO DE CARTÕES, S.A., SIBS PROCESSOS – SERVIÇOS INTERBANCARIOS DE PROCESSAMENTO, S.A., SIBS INTERNATIONAL, S.A. and SIBS GEST, S.A., to investigate a possible infringement of Article 11 of Law no. 19/2012, of 8 May (“Portuguese Competition Act”) and of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), following a supervisory and monitoring procedure into the financial sector, in particular an inquiry made to a number of digital technology-based companies in the financial sector (“FinTech”).
In this case, the AdC is investigating practices that may constitute an abuse of dominant position in the form of tying. There are strong indicia that the access to the payment systems of the SIBS Group (MB scheme and MULTIBANCO services) was made conditional by this entity on the obligation to also contract processing services with the SIBS Group.
In order to establish the facts, under Article 17(2) and Article 18 of the Portuguese Competition Act, the AdC carried out inspections and sent requests for information to the entities concerned and third parties.
On 28.07.2022, the AdC closed the inquiry in accordance with Article 24(3) of Portuguese Competition Act.
On the basis of the investigation, the AdC concluded:

  • in relation to the entities concerned SIBS PAGAMENTOS S.A., SIBS PROCESSOS – SERVIÇOS INTERBANCARIOS DE PROCESSAMENTO, S.A., SIBS INTERNATIONAL, S.A. and SIBS GEST, S.A. that there is no reasonable likelihood of a decision imposing a sanction being adopted, therefore closing the case – Article 24(3)(b) of Portuguese Competition Act;
  • in relation to the entities concerned SIBS, SGPS, S.A., SIBS – FORWARD PAYMENT SOLUTIONS, S.A., SIBS MB, S.A. and SIBS CARTÕES – PRODUÇÃO E PROCESSAMENTO DE CARTÕES, S.A. that there exists a reasonable likelihood of a decision imposing a sanction being adopted, adopting a statement of objections – Article 24(3)(a) of Portuguese Competition Act.

The AdC highlights that the Statement of Objections does not determine the outcome of the investigation. In this phase of the proceedings, an opportunity is given to the undertakings to exercise their rights of hearing and defense regarding the infringement of which they are accused and the sanctions in which they can incur.

Timeline
2022-07-28
Statement of objections - -
2020-11-17
Case initiation - -
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