The Commission sent a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (“ARA”) concerning a suspected abuse of dominant position in violation of Article 102 of the TFEU. The SO outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that ARA may have abused its dominant position on the markets for the management of packaging waste (mainly packaging made of plastic and metal) in Austria by hindering competitors’ entry into or expansion in the markets in question. Since its creation in 1993, ARA has been the dominant provider of collection and recycling services for both household and commercial packaging waste. The Commission is concerned that ARA may have hindered competitors’ access to the household collection infrastructure. Since Austrian law requires a nation-wide network of collection services and since the setting up of duplicated collection infrastructures is impossible, any competitors are dependent on receiving access to the existing ARA-infrastructure. ARA may have refused such access to potential competitors. Further, the Commission is concerned that ARA may also have foreclosed competitors from the market of the management of commercial packaging waste. According to the Commission, ARA may have used its monopoly for household packaging waste to extend its reach into the market for commercial packaging waste by offering to collect waste directly from commercial premises via ARA-collectors and ARA-containers, which can only be used for ARA-waste. As commercial clients do not want to have several containers for each type of waste on their premises, ARA’s practice may have effectively shut out competitors from a part of the market. Source: Commission Press Release 18/07/2013