On 25 April 2018, the Bulgarian NCA ("CPC") carried out on-site inspections at the business premises of Iventas EOOD ("Iventas") as part of its investigation of alleged resale prices maintenance of baby and infant products in contracts with retailers.
During the dawn raid procedure Iventas obstructed the investigation by preventing access of CPC officials to the company's electronic documents stored on its on-site and off-site servers for five hours. After gaining access to the documents, the Bulgarian NCA found out that the company has manipulated the documents during the dawn raid. Iventas also prevented access to the laptop of the company's manager and failed to disclose all e-mails, thereby preventing the collection and review of evidence. The Bulgarian NCA imposed the maximum fine permitted by law in the amount of 1 % of the company's annual turnover for failure of the company to comply with the obligation to cooperate.
It is specific to Bulgarian law that the CPC can collect documents for suspected breaches of competition law identified during the dawn raid which differ from the initial grounds in the authorisation for carrying-out the inspection. In the particular case, the CPC stressed that the company's breach was very serious as it prevented the officials from collecting evidence not only on the alleged infringement (covered by the initial scope of the inspection decision) but also on other potential competition law infringements.
Companies are obliged to cooperate with the Bulgarian NCA during a dawn raid and provide timely, full and uninterrupted access to company's business documents.