In September, the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) has launched two different antitrust investigations, one concerning chemical products and the other concerning the network of automatic cashiers (ATMs).

From 17 to 19 September 2019, the CNMC carried out dawn raids at the premises of several companies active in the chemical sector. The CNMC, in collaboration with regional competition authorities, is investigating alleged anticompetitive practices consisting of agreements and/or concerted practices in relation to the production, marketing and distribution of chemicals.

Particularly, according to the CNMC, the companies under investigation might have allocated quotas and geographical areas to various distributors in the Spanish territory.

Only a week later, the CNMC carried out additional dawn raids over the course of three days in the headquarters of several banks and network administrators operating in the banking market. The anticompetitive practices are reportedly based on a systematic and unjustified denial of access to certain financial entities to its network of ATMs under the same favourable conditions as those offered to other banks.

The opening of the investigation follows the submission of an individual complaint which, as stated by the Spanish press, would have been filed by ING Bank. According to the CNMC, this conduct would have been in effect for several years, aimed at jeopardizing the competitive capacity of certain entities in the market for the provision of payment methods.

For more information, please find the CNMC's official press releases on the investigations conducted on the chemical sector here, and on the banking sector here.