Competition law enforcement during the crisis caused by COVID-19 disease

Countries around the globe are currently facing an unprecedented crisis caused by pandemic of the Covid-19 disease, which causes both health and economic difficulties.

The Office is aware of the fact that in these difficult times, many businesses, mainly SMEs, are facing enormous problems and difficulties, which have negative impact on their work. Nevertheless, even these times should represent opportunity to look for ways and options for continuous supply of goods and services and fulfilment of consumer’s needs, and they should not be an apology for illegal and harmful conduct. Therefore, business should be still done in accordance with the legislation, including competition law.

The Office strongly emphases that it continues in markets monitoring, it oversees the compliance with competition rules and it is ready for possible enforcement and punishment action against illegal distortion of competition. Key areas under the surveillance of Office are currently hard-core cartels and prohibited exclusionary practices of dominant undertakings connected with critically essential goods and services, such as groceries, energies, drugs etc. The Office will focus on these areas in the upcoming weeks and months. Therefore, undertakings shall avoid facilitation of their situation by such behaviour, which harms the consumers as a result. This includes mainly agreements on prices, market allocation, production restrictions or joint action in public procurement. Undertakings with dominant position on the market shall not abuse this situation by excessive pricing. This applies mainly on the goods and services which are not during the crisis easily available.  Such undertakings shall not force other undertakings out of the market by abuse of their dominance. It is not possible that such behaviour would be excused by the current situation and remain unpunished.

The Office is also aware that during the emergency, certain above-standard cooperation of undertakings might be desirable. To be in line with competition rules, such cooperation should be pursued only with the target of ensuring supplies of goods and services, which are necessary in the pandemic period and in the same time, their supplies are threatened by the current situation. Anyway, any business that would like to solve their problems caused by the crisis by mutual cooperation (even in good faith) should be always aware that the competition rules remain valid. In case of any doubts about compliance of their behaviour with competition rules, undertakings should contact the Office, which is prepared to provide guidance on legality of their actions.

The Office is convinced that in most cases and in most markets, even this uneasy period gives an opportunity to maintain effective competition and to ensure its benefits are passed on consumers.

Press Unit of the Office

2020-06-22 / The Office imposed fine for the third cartel agreement in rail freight transport By its first-instance decision, the Office for the Protection of Competition imposed fines in the total amount of CZK 18,426,000 on AWT Čechofracht a.s., INTERFRACHT s.r.o., ARGO LOGISTICS, s.r.o. and...

2020-01-08 / The Offices imposed fine exceeding CZK 10 million on the collective rights management organisation OSA for abuse of dominant position By its first-instance decision, the Office for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine in the amount of CZK 10,676,000 on the collective rights management organisation OSA – Ochranný svaz autorský...

2019-11-15 / St. Martin´s Conference 2019 – Current Trends and Developments in Competition Law More than 150 competition experts, both from the Czech Republic and abroad, participated in this year’s St. Martin´s Conference which took place on 13th and 14th November 2019 in Brno. The conference...

If you want to recieve news by email please give us your adress.

News - Significant Market Power
News - Competition
News - Public Procurement
News - State Aid
Press releases - Public Procurement
Press releases - State Aid
Press releases - Competition
cs | en
+420 542 167 111 ·