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On November 23 2012 a seminar on competition law enforcement in the energy sector held at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna saw the creation of the Energy Community Competition Network. Competition authorities from Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Kosovo and Armenia, as well as representatives of the Energy Community Secretariat, signed a joint declaration on the etablishment of the network at the Energy Community.
The forthcoming amendment to the Act on the Protection of Competition will make several changes to Competition Authority practices. Among other things, the amendment will introduce prioritisation into its practices, allowing the authority to decide not to initiate administrative proceedings following certain alleged breaches of the act where those breaches have a minor effect on competition. The authority will also be able to legally prioritise the investigation of some alleged infringements over others.
by Kristýna Oberfalcerová, Attorney-at-Law, Randa Havel Legal
Bid rigging means the agreement between tenderers who intentionally damage the contracting authority by not submitting competitive offers, which leads to an increasing price compared to the price that would be achieved in the situation where candidates compete with each other. The aim is to achieve better conditions for the winner of the tender procedure. Bid rigging generally includes elements of agreements on price fixing and agreements on market sharing. These agreements have a direct negative impact on public budgets.
by Kristýna Oberfalcerová, Attorney-at-Law, RANDA HAVEL LEGAL
On 23 February 2012 the Regional Court in Brno (the "Court") delivered its judgement on an action against the decision of the Czech Antitrust Office (the "Office") in the case of screen manufacturers cartel (the "Judgement"). Even though the parties can still appeal against the Judgement it only summarizes the current decision-making practice of the European Commission (the "Commission") and the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "Court of Justice"), so there is no reason why the ruling should change in the future. Moreover, the amendment of Act No. 143/2001 Coll., on Protection of Economic Competition (the "Act") which is currently discussed before the Parliament more or less confirms the conclusions of the Judgement regarding the access to the file and defines certain rules of the Leniency procedure (the "Amendment") before the Office.
The Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (hereinafter the „Office“) issued the historically first decision concerning domestic cartel among suppliers competing for public contract (bid rigging) case. The case is interesting not only because it is the first such case in the Czech Republic, but could indicate how the Office will proceed in such cases and in the proving of such cartels.
The Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2006/123/EC of 12 December 2006, on services in the internal market ("Directive" or "Directive on services") substantially develops the freedom of establishment and freedom of cross-border provision of services under Articles 43 and 49 of the EC treaty. The Directive applies to all types of services except those which are expressly excluded. In the Czech Republic, the Directive on services was implemented by Act No. 222/2009 Coll., on Free Movement of Services that came into force on December 28, 2009.
In the Czech Republic , the heavily debated and controversial act on significant market power in the sale of agricultural and food products, and its abuse, came into force at the beginning of the last year. The aim of the act is to regulate retailers’ (mainly huge multinational retail chains) purchasing power over suppliers of food and agricultural products. An action has been filed in Brussels in which businesses request proceedings be brought against the Czech Republic, arguing that the act is incompatible with EU competition law.