promotion of best practices and exchanges of experience and achievements in the fields of regulation, inspection and advocacy related to the competition field; presenting methods and measures within the process of privatisation and deregulation.

DG Competition Best Practices on the conduct of EC merger proceedings

Sourc: DG Competition, Eupean Commission. Read more

Finnish Competition Authority and municipalities tackle cartels together

Source: Finish Competition Authority. Read more

Finnish Competition Authority and Energy Market Authority stress importance of cooperation in monitoring electricity and natural gas markets

Source: Finish Competition Authority. Read more

Nordic competition authorities charted the structure and entry barriers in the retail banking markets

Source: Finish Competition Authority. Read more

Consumer policy strategy in Poland 2004-2006

Source: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of Poland. Read more

The Romanian Competition Council collaborated with German partners. The twinning project with German experts in competition lasted three months till 16 December 2005. Romania has been collaborating with Germany in competition field since 2001. The German partners from the Ministry of Finance helped the Romanian competition experts to improve the implementation of state aid rules and the promotion of this domain among the concerned sphere. The German attendance  will continue also in 2006.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 8 December 2005. Read more

Experts of the Competition Council have participated to the national conference of salubrity operators. The conference took place in Brasov and the participation of the Council to this event had the aim to promote the competition rules among the salubrity operators and to identify their current problems. The representatives of the competition authority proposed to collaborate by publishing in the “Salubritatea” review materials which will lead to a better understanding of the competition rules.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 30 November 2005. Read more 

Experts of the Romania Competition Council give consultancy. Experts of the Competition Council will participate on 29 December 2005 to a symposium dedicated to competition and state aid, organised with the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Juridical Counselors within the Financial Banking System. This event has the role, among others, to promote and to disseminate the competition culture.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 28 November 2005. Read more

The transparency of financial relations under the examination of the Competition Council. The Council through the Competition Inspectorate of Bucharest and Ilfov County organised a seminary on the theme on transparency of financial relations. Within this event the representatives of the Council and those of public enterprises discussed the way in which the provisions in this matter are respected, the way in which the public enterprises should arrange their financial relations and to establish the financial and organisational structures.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 24 November 2005. Read more

Seminary on the inspection proceeding and the ways of collaborating with the Romanian police. The seminary was organised on 24 November 2005 at the headquarter of the Competition Council and it participated experts of the two institutions. The aim was to discuss about improving the efficiency of the supervisions and monitoring of the markets.      

Source: The Romanian Competition Council,  24 November 2005. Read more

The Romanian Competition Council officials have participated to the fifth United Nations conference regarding the principles and the rules of the restrictive commercial proceedings. The event took place in Belek, Turkey. As recognition of the progresses made by the Romanian competition authority, Romania was elected to be a member of the Conference Office along with other 16 states among which France, Germany and Great Britain. The meeting was also an opportunity for the Competition Council to do experience exchanges and to contribute through speeches and written papers to emphasise the role of the economic analyses in the competition policy.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council,  23 November 2005. Read more

The Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic issued a new initiative referring to competition problems relating to tender. The Office composed document describing indications of anticompetitive behavior of entrepreneurs within tender. The aim of this document is to help providers to identify anticompetitive behavior of competitors and to be able to give information on possible anticompetitive behavior to the Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic.

Source: The Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic, 23 November 2005. Read more

Seminar about transnational competition rules. The seminar took place today at the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of Poland and  was dedicated to transnational competition rules and their role in the economic development. Experiences of Poland and other Central European counties in the area of implementing the antitrust regulations were also discussed in course of the meeting. The main objective of the seminar was presentation of the outcome of an international research programme, in which the representatives of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection became involved. The research was realised – upon request of the European Commission (Research Directorate General) – a consortium managed by the University of Sussex. According to the assumptions of the European Commission, it shall constitute a model for implanting the antimonopoly law and competition principles in countries, where it is not present yet.

Source: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of Poland, 23 November 2005. Read more

Conference about problems of the Polish and European competition protection law. The conference has been organised by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection together with the Department of European Law and the Department of Public Economic Law of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and was dedicated to the current problems of the competition law. Its main objective was the discussion on the reform of European antitrust regulations and exchange of experiences between Poland and Germany on liberalisation and opening up to the competition of subsequent markets, closed thereto so far.

Source: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of Poland, 22 November 2005. Read more

Report on the professions sector by the Italian Competition Authority. The Italian Competition Authority wrote a Report on the reform of the professions and sent it  to Parliament and the Government   The Report, which was approved at the meeting of 16 November 2005, is the result of two years' work during which the Authority requested meetings representatives of a number of Professional Orders to analyse the restrictions on competition which still characterize the sector. What emerged was that, in many cases, professionals are willing to change rules considered obsolete whereas legislators tend to hold on to conservative positions. In the Report, the Authority identifies four critical areas which are impeding competition (role of the orders, compulsory tariffs, limitations on advertising, excessive regulation) and suggests possible corrective measures.

Source: The Italian Competition Authority, 19 November 2005. Read more

The President of the Romanian Competition Council has participated to an international workshop dedicated to the consequences of the European Commission’s Monitoring Report on Romania that took place in Cadenabbia, Italy. The representatives of the European Commission, the Romanian authorities and the Romanian Parliament discussed the main aspects of the Monitoring Report with a focus on the strategic steps that Romania has to do till the next report from Spring, 2006.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council,  18 November 2005.  Read more

APIC collaborates with the Competition Council for the improvement of the business environment on the auto market. The Association of Producers and Importers of Cars of Romania discussed with the experts of the  Competition Council some aspects regarding the provisions of the new Regulation regarding the Competition law application in the issue of the vertical agreements in car sector. According to this Regulation, from 1 January 2006 all the distribution  contracts concluded on the market of new cars and the post-sale services will be assessed taking in consideration the provisions of the Competition Law. This meeting is a part of the collaboration Agreement concluded by the Competition Council and APIC in September 2004.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 17 November 2005. Read more

International Competition Network Cartel Workshop 2005 took place between 8 – 10 November 2005 at Seoul, Korea. The workshop had  topics of interest to both mature and younger competition authorities. There were topics such as electronic evidence gathering and dealing with obstruction of investigation. The participants came from all over the world, among them: Dr. Chul-kyu Kang, Chairman, Korea Fair Trade Commission, Mr. Emil Paulis and Mr. Paul Malric-Smith from EC Directorate-General for Competition, Mr. David Darvish, Israel Antitrust Authority; Mr. Jakob Aars, Norwegian Competition Authority, Mr. Simon Williams, U.K. Office of Fair Trading, etc.

Source: International Competition Network, 11 November 2005. Read more

On 9 November 2005 took place the inter-ministerial consultations on the state aid issues. It participated the representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Ministry of Public Finances, the Administration of Environment Fund and the representatives of the Competition Council. The Council presented the modality of completing the notification form for the regional state aid, the cases analyzed by this institution regarding the regional state aid and other issues of this theme.  The inter-ministerial consultation have the aim to provide technical assistance for the purveyor institutions and to identify solutions to compatibilize the state aid with the current legislation.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 10 November 2005. Read more

The state aids given by the mayoralties must be reported to the Competition Council. The Competition Inspectorate of Bucharest and Ilfov county  sent a  requirement to the Mayoralty of Bucharest and to the 6 district mayors and to those of Ilfov county reminding them to report the state aids granted within the period 2002-2004.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 2 November 2005. Read more

The Competition Council organized a round table for Judges and the magistrates from the High Court of Causation and Justice, the judges of the Court of Appeal, Bucharest as well as with the prosecutors from the Prosecution Services.  The meeting purpose was to exchange ideas and experiences  regarding the approach and the application of the competition rules in the domain of the practices in restraint of trade.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 2 November 2005. Read more

Best Practices for the Formal Exchange of Information Between Competition Authorities in Hard Core Cartel Investigations. In October 2005, the Competition Committee of The OECD adopted the Best Practices for the Formal Exchange of Information between Competition Authorities in Hard Core Cartel Investigations.  The Best Practices aim to identify safeguards that member countries should consider applying when they authorise competition authorities to exchange confidential information in cartel investigations.

Source: OECD, 2 November 2005. Read more

The analysis of the settlement impact – an efficient mechanism in eliminating the anti-competition provisions. The Competition Council uses the analysis of the settlement impact as main tool within the interministerial working group on competition. The aim of this method is to verify ex-ante the legislation and considers that the competitions laws prevail upon the other normative documents. The representatives of the Council and PHARE experts organized special training sessions for the persons designed by each ministry to apply this mechanism.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 1 November 2005. Read more

The Hungarian Competition Act has been amended. The Act LXVIII of 2005 introduced several new elements into the Act LVII of 1996 on the prohibition of unfair and restrictive market practices. The amendments are in force as of 1 November 2005.

Source:  The Hungarian Competition Council, November 2005. Read more

Merger Remedies Study. The objective of this Study of DG Competition was to review with the benefit of hindsight the design and implementation of commitments offered and accepted by the Commission in previous cases so as to identify areas where further improvements to the Commission’s existing merger remedies policy and procedures may be necessary in future.

Source: The European Commission, November 2005. Read more

Competition Law Enforcement Issues and Practices – seminar for the representatives of the SEE countries' national competition authorities. The representatives of the Croatian Competition Agency participated in the seminar which was organized within the support programme aimed at the SEE countries' national competition authorities by the Italian Competition Authority in Bucharest from 25 to 27 October 2005. Other than the Croatian representatives the seminar was attended also by the representatives of the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia, Rumania and Serbia and Monte Negro. The objective of the seminar was to present and discuss the relevant methods and techniques applied in the investigation procedures relating to certain aspects of competition such as cartels, concentrations of undertakings and abuse of a dominant position.

Source: The Croatian Competition Agency, 29 October 2005. Read more

Bilateral cooperation: On 24 October 2005 the representatives of the expert team of the Competition Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina paid a working visit to the Croatian Competition Agency. This opportunity was used to exchange information on the development in the work and the issues encountered by the competition authorities within the implementation of competition law and policy. The representatives of the CCA were prepared to inform their colleagues from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the modalities in the procedures carried out within the meaning of the Croatian legislative framework, how the particular procedures are initiated and concluded and how the relevant EU legislation and practice are taken into account. Source: The Croatian Competition Agency, 29 October 2005. Read more

Information and Consultancy Office at the International Fair of Bucharest  The Competition Council established till 8 October 2005, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, an Information and Consultancy Desk, on competition issues within the ROMEXPO. Experts of the Council had offered information regarding the Romanian legislation harmonized with the acquis communautaire in the field, the rules of the competition in Romania and the EU, the anticompetitive practices and all the contraventions punished according to the competition law.

Source: The Romanian Competition Council, 5 October 2005. Read more

The Training of public prosecutors in the prevention of business crime threatening development of entrepreneurship is a project, organized in Poland, that aims to extend specialist knowledge of prosecuting attorneys to combat economic crimes which threaten business development and to provide for better and more secure working conditions. It will consist of a series of training sessions devoted to the prevention of business crime and will be addressed to a group of prosecutors already specializing in prosecuting a wide variety of business crimes, as well as to prosecutors wishing to improve their professional qualifications. The training sessions will be attended by judges and prosecutors delegated by Court Chairmen, Appellate Prosecutors, and, in particular, the members of the Association of Public Prosecutors of the Republic of Poland

Source: National Bank of Poland, 9 September 2005. Read more

In the press statement about the competition in the sector of liberal professions, “Liberal professions-Looking into the reform”, the European Commission greets the progress achieved by some states member, but considers that the regulation which dramatically restrict the competition: fixing the prices or forbidden the publicity, are still often meet in many countries and is harming the consumers. The European Commission stimulates the State members to adopt strict measures and is proposing to enroll the  modernization of the regulation of liberal professions into the national reform programmes having as a purpose the implementing the Lisbon Agenda.

Source: September 5, 2005. Read more

The OECD paper ”The Benefits of Liberalising Product Markets and Reducing Barriers to International trade and Investment: The Case of the United States and the European Union provides an assessment of the impact of a package of structural reforms in the European Union and the United States (cutting down the competition-restraining regulations, reduction of tariff barriers and the ease of restrictions on foreign direct investment to "best practice" levels in the OECD area) on long-run trade and output gains accruing to OECD countries. This analysis indicates that such reforms could lead to gains in GDP per capita in both USA and EU of up to 3 to 3 ½ per cent and due to trade linkages, the benefits from the two areas would spread to other OECD countries, estimating an increase in GDP per capita of up to 1½ per cent.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Economics Department,

study published on May 26, 2005. Read more

The European Commission is concerned about the implementation of the competition policy in the fuel field. In practice is showed that, when there are, cartels have a national dimension. That is why, national authorities for competition have the mission to find out and to punish these non competition ways, till these get a communitarian dimension. And so, the officials of the European Commission highlight the necessity of examine the vertical restrictions and, in special, to follow the effect of new regulation of the Commission regarding the global exception from the bloc, and reducing from 10 to 5 years to the exclusivity contracts  established between the fuel company and sellers. The National Authorities of competition where invited as well to examine the problems of false “agency contracts”, on this bases some fuel company obliged to the resellers, wrongly called agents, prices of reselling.

Read more

International Competition Network - A report by Competition Policy Implementation Working Group: sub group 2 – Consumer Relations  on outreach undertaken and lessons learned. Consumers are the set of interests traditionally identified as beneficiaries of anti-trust enforcement, the legitimacy that economic theory accords their interests is impressive. This report seeks to illustrate a range of activities undertaken by ICN member agencies to reach out to and engage consumers and consumer representative organisations and to discuss the steps taken to overcome the ‘practical difficulties’ identified. The report is one of a number of tasks sub group 2 has undertaken in preparation for the 2005 ICN Conference in Bonn, Germany. The report includes case studies from member agencies examining a wide range of consumer outreach efforts, together with members’ views on challenges, lessons learned and why some initiatives were more successful than others.  Read more

New rules for car distribution bring dealers greater freedom to compete across the EU. So-called ‘location clauses’ in contracts between carmakers and dealers will, as of 1st October 2005, no longer benefit from automatic (“block”) exemption from the EC Treaty’s prohibition on restrictive business practices (Article 81) under the European Commission’s car distribution Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002. These clauses have served to stop dealers from opening outlets outside geographical territories defined by carmakers, including other EU Member States. However, many carmakers and dealers have already removed these clauses from their contracts. The change allows dealers to compete more widely, thereby facilitating price competition and stimulating innovation in distribution. This change concerning location clauses is the final part of the Commission’s reform of competition rules for car distribution, the rest of which came into force on 1 October 2002. The extra three years before the ‘location clauses’ lost the block exemption was aimed at allowing carmakers and dealers time to adapt.. Read more

The state Aid Control Procedures in the Czech Republic before and after the Accession, an analyses by Joseph Bednar. Read more

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