Final Word from Thursday, May 30, 2019

It's been nearly three months since the police raided the ÚOHS antitrust office, Kapsch and the homes of ÚOHS Chair Petr Rafaj, GM Karel Feix of Kapsch and ANO First Vice Chair Jaroslav Faltýnek. No arrests have been made, and the status of "suspect" hasn't been lifted from Rafaj and his right-hand woman, Eva Kubišová. Whether these three months are the quiet before the storm or instead the let's-forget-it-all-ever-happened period is anyone's guess. The only real clue is yesterday's decision by Rafaj's office to allow Agrofert, whose Penam bakery is the market leader, to acquire the No. 2 player, United Bakeries. Agrofert will have to sell a few production facilities, but no mention was made by ÚOHS of a forced divestiture of any of the well-established bread brands, which is a far bigger issue. If all those demonstrating over the past five weeks understood business as well as they do judicial independence, they would apply a reverse-Stork's Nest theory. They would accuse Rafaj of doing Andrej Babiš's bidding on the bread front in exchange for not having to face a court of law in the highway-toll issue. [ Czech Republic competition anti-trust judiciary ]

Glossary of difficult words

to lift - formally to remove or end (a legal restriction, decision or ban);

anyone's/anybody's guess - very difficult or impossible to determine;

divestiture/divestment - the action or process of selling off subsidiary business interests or investments;

to do someone's bidding - to do what another person asks one to do.

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