The Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") closed the DIGI/Invitel case, concerning the telecommunication sector, in May 2018, following the unravelling of procedural issues which had occurred during the investigation.
In 2017, DIGI notified its intention to acquire Invitel with the HCA. The HCA initiated investigations to clarify any competition concerns and requested further information from DIGI three times, and on four occasions from Invitel, as well as from competitors, a ministry, the regulator and other national competition authorities.
The HCA was of the opinion that the information provided by DIGI was not sufficient, and, based on information from previous cases, held that it was likely that DIGI was in possession of additional, more detailed, documents regarding the preparation of the transaction. Since DIGI failed to provide such documents to the HCA despite being requested to do so, the HCA asked the court to authorize a dawn raid. The court granted the request within two days, and after an additional period of seven days, the HCA carried out the dawn raid at the registered seat of DIGI. Whether the HCA has found the preparatory documents it was looking for is not clear from the publicly available information (as regards the dawn raid, DIGI has filed a complaint with the HCA but the HCA disregarded this complaint; the grounds of this dismissal are not accessible.) Eventually, the HCA cleared the merger subject to conditions and obligations as proposed by DIGI to address the concerns.