In a groundbreaking move, Germany’s ruling coalition has agreed to overhaul the country’s antitrust law. The amended law would give the Bonn-based cartel office more powers to ensure fairer competition and protect smaller economic players when the market is disrupted.
The reforms mean the office can take action when prices jump unexpectedly and companies are allowed to claw back any profits achieved through antitrust violation. In addition, the antitrust watchdog could now break up companies in extreme cases of violation.
Verena Hubertz, deputy chairwoman of the Social Democrats parliamentary group, has hailed the move, saying it will ensure smaller economic players will be better protected in the future. “The changes will provide these players with a much-needed level of confidence in the structure of the market.”
Meanwhile, Lukas Koehler, FDP lawmaker, has highlighted the importance of the behavior and importance of companies in the market. “This is a condition for competition interventions by the cartel office. Additionally, we have included the option for companies to object to measures and to suspend them pending a court review.”
The overhaul of the antitrust law is a significant step forward in ensuring fairer competition in Germany and protecting smaller economic players in particular. With the new powers, the cartel office will be able to take appropriate action against companies found to be trying to disrupt the market.