December 10, 2018
First Criminal Proceeding against Company and its CEO for Withholding Documents Requested by the Antitrust Authority
Under Plea Agreement, Huliot Cooperative Association and its CEO will Plead Guilty that they Failed to Provide Requested Documents
In 2016 the Antitrust Authority requested documents and data from Huliot and its CEO Paul Steiner, after receiving complaints that Huliot violated the Antitrust Law.
After Huliot and its CEO provided a few documents under the request, the Authority suspected that they refrained from providing many additional documents. Indeed, in a search of Huliot's offices conducted by the Authority dozens of relevant documents were seized, which Huliot had failed to provide.
Under the plea agreement, Huliot and Steiner will plead guilty to not providing data as requested by the Authority. The parties jointly will recommend that the court sentence Steiner to two weeks of public works in lieu of imprisonment, a fine of NIS 50,000 and a suspended prison sentence. The parties will recommend that the court impose upon Huliot a fine of NIS 150,000.
Thus far, companies and their executives who failed to provide data requested by the Antitrust Authority have paid to the State Treasury monetary sanctions under administrative proceedings which did not include conviction or imprisonment.
This will be the first time a company or person will be convicted of failing to provide data to the Antitrust Authority.
In the case of Huliot and Steiner, it was decided to initiate a criminal proceeding since in the Authority's investigation indications were found that the failure to provide the documents was intentional.
The Authority is represented in the criminal proceeding by Advocates Tomer Degani-Hanit and Natan Yarden.