Notice of the Office for the Protection of Competition on the alternative solution of certain competition issues
The role of the Office for the Protection of Competition is first and foremost to protect competition as such. Among the forms of action distorting competition, review of which falls under the Office’s competence pursuant to Act No. 143/2001 Coll., on the Protection of Competition, are prohibited agreements, abuse of dominant position and certain cases of concentration between undertakings (mergers).
The Act on the Protection of Competition stipulates the formal procedure which the Office should follow if it deems violation of competition law has occurred. In such case the Act assumes that administrative proceedings should be initiated, at the end of which on the basis of the gathered information the Office declares whether an administrative offence has been committed, and if so, the Office eventually decides to impose a fine or a remedy.
Furthermore, in case of proceedings on prohibited agreements or abuse of dominant position the Act explicitly offers the possibility to decide on imposing measures, which were proposed together by the parties to the proceedings.
The Office holds the view that cooperation with undertakings suspected of anti-competitive infringements may under certain circumstances lead to fast and efficient restoration of distorted competition. In cases where the undertakings are prepared to remedy their action out of their own initiative, the Office is ready to offer a helping hand to these undertakings; if the anti-competitive situation is remedied, the Office is ready not to initiate the administrative proceedings, or eventually to conclude the already initiated administrative proceedings without a decision stating that an administrative offence has been committed. The partnership approach between the Office and the undertakings may in many cases lead to a faster and more reliable achievement of the objective of the competition policy, which is to protect competition, but also to the restoration of competitive conditions in the market.
Therefore, the Office has published the Notice on the alternative solution of certain competition issues where cases and conditions are described under which the Office will not initiate the administrative proceedings, or will conclude the administrative proceedings in process, depending on the seriousness of the anti-competitive action, the fact whether and how long the anti-competitive situation lasted, and the level of cooperation from the side of the undertakings.
There is a new version of the Notice on Prioritisation and Alternative Solution of Competition Issues since November 2013. However, English version of the Notice has not been prepared yet, only Czech wording is available here 525 KB.