The Competition Act No 44/2005 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Competition Act No 44/2005

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  1. Implementation of the EU Acquis in the field of competition and description of anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland 6. December 2010 Ms. Valgerður Rún Benediktsdóttir Legal Expert, Department of Business Affairs Ministry of Economic Affairs

  2. Main sources of competition rules in Iceland • The Competition Act No 44/2005 • The EEA Agreement, Articles 53-58, as well as Protocol 21-25 and Annex XIV to the Agreement • Protocol 4 to the Agreement between the EFTA States on the Establishment of a Surveillance Authority and Court of Justice (The Surveillance and Court Agreement) • Rules of procedure of the Competition Authority • Rules of procedure of the Board of Directors • Reduction or cancelation of fines • Rules on the notification of mergers

  3. State of play in implementing the EU acquis – Article 101 (53 of the EEA) • Article 101(1) of the EU Treaty • The Competition Act No. 44/2005, Article 10 – general prohibition on restrictive agreements • Article 101(2) of the EU Treaty • The Competition Act No. 44/2005, Article 33 – “Any agreements conflicting with the prohibitions in this Act are null and void” • Article 101(3) of the EU Treaty • The Competition Act No. 44/2005, Article 15(1) – Lays down rules on exemptions from Article 10 in line with Article 101(3) of the EU Treaty.

  4. State of play in implementing the EU acquis – Article 102 (54 of the EEA) • Article 102 of the EU Treaty • The Competition Act No. 44/2005, Article 11 - contains a general prohibition on the abuse of a dominant position in accordance with Article 102 of the EU Treaty.

  5. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Proceduralrules • Regulations 1/2003 and 773/2004 are both fully implemented • Fines and immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases • The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted a Notice on immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases in accordance with the Commission rules. • The Competition Authority also has rules on Reduction or cancellation of fines.

  6. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Substantive rules • Notices of general nature • All the Commission Notices and Guidelines mentioned in this section have been mirrored by the EFTA Surveillance Authority • Horizontal co-operation agreements • Regulations 2658/2000 and 2659/2000 have been fully implemented • Commission Notice Guidelines on the applicability of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to horizontal cooperation agreements • The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted Guidelines on the applicability of Article 53 of the EEA Agreement to horizontal cooperation agreements in accordance with the Commission Guidelines

  7. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Substantive rules (cont.) • Vertical agreements • Regulation 330/2010 has been fully implemented with IC regulation No 927/2010 • Regulation 2790/1999 and 1400/2002 have been fully implemented • Regulation 461/2010 is being translated. Translation is due to be finished in December. After translation it will be published in the EEA Supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union and then implemented with an IC regulation • Transfer of technology agreements • Regulation 772/2004 has been fully implemented

  8. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Sector-specific rules • Insurance • Regulation 267/2010 has been fully implemented with IC regulation No 926/2010 • Regulation 358/2003 has been fully implemented • Transport • Regulation 169/2009 has not yet been incorporated in to the EEA-agreement - adoption is foreseen on the 10 December • Regulation 906/2009 has been translated and will be published in the EEA Supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union in the next few weeks, and then implemented with an IC regulation

  9. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Merger control • Framework legislation • Regulation 139/2004 has been fully implemented • Implementing rules • Regulation 802/2004 is being translated. Translation is due to be finished in December. After translation it will be published in the EEA Supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union and then implemented with an IC regulation

  10. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Merger control (cont.) • Notices and Guidelines • Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market • The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted a Notice on the definition of the relevant market for the purpose of competition law within the EEA in accordance with the Commission Notice.

  11. State of play in implementing the EU acquis • Merger control (cont.) • Notices and Guidelines (cont.) • Regarding other Notices and Guidelines mentioned in this section: • The division of competence between the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the Commission is laid down in Article 57 of the EEA Agreement, which provides that the control of concentrations shall be carried out by the Commission in cases falling under the Merger regulation, and by the EFTA Surveillance Authority in cases where the turnover thresholds are met in the EFTA States but not in the EU. The rules on jurisdiction are such that the Commission in practice handles all cases. The EFTA Surveillance Authority has, therefore, not considered it necessary to adopt its own versions of the Commission notices relating only to the control of concentrations.

  12. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland – restrictive agreements and the abuse of a dominant position • The competition Act No. 44/2005 (with amendments) • Restrictive agreements • Article 10 – general prohibition on restrictive agreements • Article 12 – associations of undertaking are prohibited to institute restrictions on competition or to advocate restrictions prohibited under the Act. The prohibition extends to the directors of such associations, their staff members, and to persons in position of trust • Abuse of a dominant position • Article 11 - contains a general prohibition on the abuse of a dominant position • .

  13. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Mergers • Mergers – Articles 17-17(e) • The rules on mergers where changed in 2008 (Act No 94/2008) with the intention of strengthening the rules and making them in line with EU regulation No 139/2004 (Merger regulation) • Article 17 – Definition of a merger • The definition is in line with the definitions in Article 3 of the EU Merger regulation

  14. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Mergers • Article 17(a) – Notification of Mergers • Notification is required of mergers meeting the following conditions: • The combined turnover of the undertakings in question in Iceland is ISK 2 billion or more, and • At least two of the undertakings participating in the merger have a minimum annual turnover of ISK 200 million respectively in Iceland. • The merger shall be notified before it takes effect and shall not take effect while it is being examined by the Competition Authority. • The notification shall include all the relevant information on the merger • A short form may be used in certain instances. (Based on EU Regulation 802/2004) • See also Rules on the notification of mergers issued by the Competition Authority.

  15. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Mergers • Article 17(b) – The duty to notify a merger • Stipulates who is responsible for notifying a merger • Article 17(c) – Annulment of a merger • Lays down rules on when the Competition Authority can annul a merger – in line with the Merger regulation • dominant position or strengthening of such a position • significant distortion of competition. • Also grants the Competition Authority the right to establish conditions for mergers

  16. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Mergers • Article 17(d) – Time limits • The Competition Authority has 25 working days to notify a party that has submitted a notification of a merger if it sees reason for further investigation of the competitive impact of the merger. • A decision of annulment shall be made not later than 70 working days from the time of notification • 20 day extension possible – if further information is needed.

  17. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Mergers • Article 17(e) – Rejection and dissolution of a merger • In cases where the Competition Authority decides to disallow a merger the Competition Authority can require a dissolution of the merged undertakings or assets or the cessation of joint management or any other action that may be appropriate in order to restore conditions for effective competition.

  18. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland – Investigative powers • Investigative powers – Articles 19 and 20 of the Competition Act • The Competition Authority has the power to request information, take statements and carry out necessary inspections on the premises of an undertaking or associations of undertakings - compatible with Articles 18-20 of Regulation 1/2003. • It does not however have the power to inspect other premises as described in Article 21 of Regulation 1/2003

  19. Description of the anti-trust and merger rules in Iceland - Sanctions • Sanctions – Chapter IX of the Competition Act • Article 37 - the Competition Authority will impose administrative fines on undertakings or groups of undertakings for certain violations of the Act. • Fines may amount to 10% of the total turnover of the preceding business year of any undertaking or association of undertakings involved in a violation. • Article 41a - any employee or director of an undertaking or association of undertakings who carries out, incites to or gives instructions on collusion which violates Articles 10 and/or 12 and relates to certain issues, stipulated in paragraphs 2 and 3, shall be subject to fines or imprisonment up to six years. • Undertakings are only subject to administrative fines but individuals can be subject either to administrative fines, fines decided by the courts or imprisonment.