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Germany: Competition Law amendment came into force

 |  June 12, 2017

On June 9, 2017, the 9th amendment to the German Competition Act (ARC) finally came into force.

The main reason behind this substantial change of German competition law was the implementation of the EU directive 2014/104/EU on Antitrust Damages Actions. German legislators have taken this opportunity to make further changes to the existing competition law regime.

The new provisions expand the competence of the Federal Cartel Office in the areas of merger control, digital markets, and private antitrust enforcement. Also, gaps in the enforcement of fines have been closed.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office, said: “We welcome the fact that the legislature has given us a new step in the process of new consumer protection instruments. Especially in the Internet industry, there are cases where companies can harm millions of consumers at a time by a single unlawful measure. Here, it makes sense to support the established consumer protection in Germany, which is predominantly organized under private law. We are now going to make a concrete contribution to consumer protection through sector studies and to identify any deficits. We will work closely with consumer protection organizations. ”

The Federal Cartel Office may, in the future, carry out serious investigations into serious violations of consumer law provisions, such as the Unfair Competition Law (UWG) or legal requirements for general business conditions, sectoral investigations. Sectoral investigations are not aimed at certain companies, but they are designed to explore market conditions in depth. In the past few years, the Bundeskartellamt has identified competition-related constraints through sectoral investigations and developed solutions such as petrol stations, district heating, the dairy market or read-out services.

Full Content: Global Compliance News

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