Amendment to the act on cartels faces opposition

The majority of the interested parties consulted by the Federal Department for Economy on the draft amendment to the Federal Cartel Act (see "Amendments to the Cartel Act", GC, 2001 (VI), 62) have reacted critically to the proposal and have put forward the following comments:

  • The amendment is perceived as premature since the current Act was only adopted in 1996.
  • In the absence of a clear practice in relation to the interpretation of the concepts of anti-competitive restraints and abuse of a dominant position, it would be risky to place the power to apply direct sanctions in the hands of the Federal Competition Commission (FCC).
  • An increased efficiency on the part of the FCC would be more easily achieved by introducing institutional changes rather than replacing the representatives of business and consumer associations with independent experts and academics.

Most commentators, however, have agreed that concentrations in the media sector should be subject to the general thresholds which apply to other industries. Following the consultation exercise, the Federal government has now decided to revise the draft and not to change the composition of the FCC. The final draft of the amendment should be submitted to Parliament in the course of autumn 2001.

Source: Marcel Dietrich, Homburger

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