Restraints of trade and dominance in Austria: overview

A Q&A guide to restraints of trade and dominance in Austria.

The Q&A gives a succinct overview of restraints of trade, monopolies and abuses of market power in Austria. In particular, it covers the regulatory authorities and the regulatory framework, the scope of rules, exemptions, exclusions, statutes of limitation, notification, investigations, penalties and enforcement, third party damages claims, EU law, joint ventures and proposals for reform.

For information on merger control, regulatory framework and regulatory authorities, relevant triggering events and thresholds in Austria, visit Merger control in Austria: overview.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to competition and cartel leniency. For a full list of jurisdictional Restraints of Trade and Dominance Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/restraintsoftrade-guide. For a full list of jurisdictional Merger Control Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/mergercontrol-guide.

For a full list of jurisdictional Cartel Leniency Q&As, which provide a succinct overview of leniency and immunity, the applicable procedure and the regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions, visit www.practicallaw.com/leniency-guide.

Contents

Restraints of trade

Scope of rules

1. Are restrictive agreements and practices regulated? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

Agreements between undertakings, concerted practices or decisions by an association of undertakings that restrict, distort or prevent competition are prohibited under the Cartel Act (Kartellgesetz) (section 1, Cartel Act). Agreements violating the prohibition are legally void and not enforceable in court.

Examples of restrictive agreements that are prohibited are agreements to (section 1(2), Cartel Act):

  • Directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions.

  • Limit or control production, markets, technical development or investment.

  • Share markets or sources of supply.

  • Apply dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage.

  • Make the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of those contracts.

In addition, recommended prices or price limits, calculation regulations, trade margins or rebates are prohibited if they have the object or effect of restricting competition (Empfehlungskartelle). However, recommendations that are not enforced with any economic or social pressure and that are explicitly non-binding are not prohibited (section 1(4), Cartel Act).

Regulatory authorities

The Federal Competition Authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA), as the only competent authority, is responsible for initial investigations into restrictive provisions. Formal proceedings are started at the Cartel Court (Kartellgericht) (see Question 6).

 
2. Do the regulations only apply to formal agreements or can they apply to informal practices?

Irrespective of their form, any agreements or concerted practices that have as their object or effect the restriction of competition are prohibited. This includes informal talks between undertakings or concerted practices (for example, the exchange of sensitive information).

 

Exemptions

3. Are there any exemptions? If so, what are the criteria for individual exemption and any applicable block exemptions?

Agreements (that is, concerted practices or decisions by an association of undertakings) are exempted if they contribute to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit, and do not (section 2(1), Cartel Act):

  • Impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of these objectives.

  • Afford those undertakings the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the products in question.

In addition, the following are specifically exempted (section 2(2), Cartel Act):

  • De minimis agreements (see Question 4, Exclusions and Statutes of limitation).

  • Agreements regarding retail prices of books, printings, music and newspapers.

  • Agreements between members of co-operatives.

  • Agreements, decisions and practices of agricultural producers and associations of producers concerning the production and the distribution of products or use of joint facilities between those enterprises.

Certain agreements can be exempted by block exemption regulations (no Austrian block exemptions have been implemented as yet) (section 3, Cartel Act). The EU block exemption regulations are used as interpretative guidance for the exemptions contained in section 2 of the Cartel Act.

 

Exclusions and statutes of limitation

4. Are there any exclusions? Are there statutes of limitation associated with restrictive agreements and practices?

Exclusions

Agreements between undertakings are considered de minimis if both:

  • The undertakings have a combined market share of no more than:

    • 10% of the relevant market where the undertakings concerned are competitors;

    • 15% of the relevant market where the undertakings concerned are not competitors.

  • The agreements do not have as their object or effect any of the following:

    • fixing selling prices;

    • limiting production or sales; or

    • sharing markets.

Statutes of limitation

Fines can only be imposed within five years after the breach has ended (section 33, Cartel Act).

 

Notification

5. What are the notification requirements for restrictive agreements and practices?

Notification

Legislation does not provide a system for notification of restrictive agreements. It is the undertakings' responsibility to assess whether their behaviour complies with the competition rules.

Informal guidance/opinion

The FCA will not generally provide informal guidance.

Responsibility for notification

Not applicable (see above, Notification).

Relevant authority

Not applicable (see above, Notification).

Form of notification

Not applicable (see above, Notification).

Filing fee

Not applicable (see above, Notification).

 

Investigations

6. Who can start an investigation into a restrictive agreement or practice?

Regulators

The FCA decides whether to start an investigation. It can start investigations on its own initiative or after it received information from an external party.

The Official Parties have the power to start formal proceedings by starting legal proceedings at the Cartel Court.

The Federal Cartel Prosecutor (Bundeskartellanwalt) (FCP) represents the public interest before the Cartel Court. This includes forwarding information received to the FCA and proposing that investigations are conducted. Third parties that consider that they are affected by any misconduct restricting competition can contact the FCP directly.

Third parties

Generally, third parties cannot force the authorities to start investigations and the FCA decides whether or not to start investigations.

However, the following are entitled to file complaints with the Cartel Court to start formal proceedings:

  • The Official Parties (see above, Regulators).

  • Special sector regulators within the meaning of section 36 of the Cartel Act (for example, the telecommunications regulator).

  • The Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the Austrian Chamber of Labour and the Presidential Conference of the Austrian Chambers of Agriculture.

  • Every company that has a legal or economic interest in a decision (see Question 7, Representations). This includes, for example, customers, suppliers or competitors of the parties to a restrictive agreement (members of a cartel).

When the Cartel Court receives a complaint, proceedings are started automatically, and the Cartel Court must decide on the complaint.

 
7. What rights (if any) does a complainant or other third party have to make representations, access documents or be heard during the course of an investigation?

Representations

Third parties can make representations to the Official Parties, providing information about other parties' conduct before an investigation. However, they cannot force the Official Parties to start an investigation.

Alternatively, third parties can file complaints directly with the Cartel Court (see Question 6, Third parties). This will make those undertakings parties to formal proceedings, with all associated rights and responsibilities. This will enable them to access all documents of the proceedings and to be heard. However, they must also bear the costs of the proceedings (see Question 6, Third parties).

Document access

See above, Representations.

Be heard

See above, Representations.

 
8. What are the stages of the investigation and timetable?

The FCA carries out the initial investigation. Following this investigation, the Official Parties may decide to start formal proceedings with the Cartel Court. Only the Cartel Court has the power to issue injunctions or to state that there is a breach of the prohibition on restrictive agreements (see Question 13).

In the procedure, the FCA presents its case and the parties can correspond and put forward their view. This includes written submissions and oral hearings. There is no specific time frame for the procedure. The procedure ends with the Cartel Court issuing a decision that finds either an infringement or dismisses the complaint.

In the proceedings, the FCP represents the public interest before the Cartel Court. As an Official Party the FCP can submit a case before the Cartel Court, concerning cartel issues, among other things.

 
9. How much information is made publicly available concerning investigations into potentially restrictive agreements or practices? Is any information made automatically confidential and is confidentiality available on request?

Publicity

  • Proceedings initiated by the Official Parties. The basic facts and the participants in the alleged infringement are published on the FCA's website. As the outcome of investigations may depend on confidentiality, this information is not usually published at an early stage of the proceedings.

  • Rulings of the Cartel Court. The Cartel Court's rulings establishing an infringement are automatically published by the Cartel Court on the official website for public announcements and edicts (Ediktsdatei) (www.edikte.justiz.gv.at).

Automatic confidentiality

Business secrets are kept confidential and disclosure of court records and related data to third parties requires the defendant's consent (section 39, Cartel Act).

Confidentiality on request

As confidentiality is automatic, it is not possible to request additional confidentiality.

 

Publicity and confidentiality

10. What are the powers (if any) that the relevant regulator has to investigate potentially restrictive agreements or practices?

The FCA can request information and documents from undertakings, and can conduct an inspection after obtaining a warrant from the Cartel Court.

The Cartel Court has the power to:

  • Order undertakings to provide information and documents and to enforce the order.

  • Interrogate parties and witnesses.

  • Order inspections (see above).

The FCP can:

  • Forward information received to the FCA.

  • Review the FCA's files.

  • Propose that investigations are conducted (but cannot conduct those investigations).

 

Settlements

11. Can the parties reach settlements with regulators to bring an early resolution to an investigation? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

During the FCA's initial investigation, the parties can offer commitments to the FCA to resolve competition problems to avoid proceedings before the Cartel Court.

After proceedings have begun, the parties can offer commitments to the Cartel Court. The Cartel Court can declare these commitments binding on the undertakings concerned (section 27, Cartel Act).

 
12. Can the regulator accept remedies (commitments) from the parties to address competition concerns without reaching an infringement decision? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

The Cartel Court can accept commitments by the undertakings concerned if these commitments are capable of excluding future infringements (section 27, Cartel Act).

 

Penalties and enforcement

13. What are the regulator's enforcement powers in relation to a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice?

Orders

The Cartel Court can issue orders to the undertakings concerned to:

  • Bring an immediate end to the infringements. These orders must not be excessive in view of the infringements. The Cartel Court can only order structural obligations if:

    • there are no other equivalent measures available;

    • other measures would have higher costs for the undertakings concerned.

  • Accept commitments and declare them binding, on the basis that these commitments will prevent future infringements. A decision by the Cartel Court to accept commitments terminates the proceedings, although there are some circumstances that can cause a later reopening of the proceedings.

  • Declare that an infringement has occurred and the extent to which the actions have breached the Cartel Act if there is a legal interest in such a declaration. A legal interest is present if the finding of an infringement is in the public interest.

Fines

The Cartel Court can impose:

  • Fines of up to 10% of the total turnover of the last financial year on undertakings (or associations of undertakings) for a:

    • breach of the prohibition on restrictive agreements;

    • failure to comply with a commitment regarding section 27 of the Cartel Act; or

    • breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (the EU provision concerning anti-competitive agreements).

  • Fines of up to 1% of the total turnover of the last financial year for not meeting their legal obligation to provide information requested by the Cartel Court by giving wrong, misleading or incomprehensive information.

  • Penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily turnover of the last financial year for every day that companies delay complying with a ruling of the Cartel Court.

Nature of fines

Fines under the Cartel Act are not administrative or criminal. However, they do have a punitive character. The federal government forcefully collects the fines not paid on time (section 32, Cartel Act).

Personal liability

Generally, individuals are not held liable for civil competition law infringements under the Cartel Act. However, individuals participating in criminal acts, such as bid-rigging, and individuals violating special laws, such as the Data Protection Act, will be held personally liable under criminal or administrative law (as applicable, depending on the violated provision).

Immunity/leniency

Similar to the EU leniency programme the Competition Act (Wettbewerbsgesetz) provides a possibility for cartel participants to avoid or reduce fines (Kronzeugenregelung). To receive full immunity an undertaking must meet the following criteria:

  • The undertaking has stopped its participation in the infringement.

  • At the time the FCA gets involved, the authority has no prior knowledge of the cartel.

  • The participant fully co-operates with the FCA and discloses all information available.

  • The undertaking is not the ringleader, for example, it has not forced other companies to participate in the cartel.

If the FCA has already learned about the infringement it is still possible for an undertaking to receive a reduction in fines if all the other criteria are fulfilled.

The critical issue for immunity is not the procedural stage but rather the possession of information by the FCA. An undertaking must fully co-operate with the FCA and disclose all relevant information.

In all cases, the company must not inform the other participants in the alleged infringement of its co-operation with the FCA.

Impact on agreements

Agreements and decisions violating the prohibition on restrictive agreements are void. If the restrictive agreement is a part of a wider agreement, the main agreement can be valid, unless:

  • The violating part was a material part of the agreement.

  • The contract cannot be separated from the violating part.

 

Third party damages claims and appeals

14. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

Third party damages

The Cartel Act provides that third parties can bring damage claims concerning harm suffered from illegal agreements (private enforcement).

Third party claims have been rare, as the claimant must prove damage, wrongdoing, and that the wrongdoing caused the damage, as well as bearing the risk of the costs associated with the proceedings. Follow-on claims, brought after a competition authority has issued a decision stating that an infringement has occurred, face fewer hurdles. Even in that case, however, third parties do not receive full access to documents held by the FCA or the Cartel Court.

Special procedures/rules

These claims are based on general rules for damage claims in the Civil Code (Allgemeines Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) (ABGB) (sections 1295 and 1311, ABGB). However, the Cartel Act provides certain specific procedural rules for such claims (such as rules for assessing the amount of the damage).

Collective/class actions

Austrian law does not provide for class actions and there are no specific rules on this issue in competition law. However, claimants can transfer their damage claims to a single person that acts as a claimant in several joined actions.

 
15. Is there a right of appeal against any decision of the regulator? If so, which decisions, to which body and within which time limits? Are rights of appeal available to third parties, or only to the parties to the agreement or practice?

Rights of appeal and procedure

The parties to the proceedings can appeal against Cartel Court rulings to the Supreme Cartel Court (Kartellobergericht) within four weeks of the Cartel Court's decision. The general rules for appeal laid down in the Civil Procedure Code apply.

Third party rights of appeal

Only the parties to the proceedings have the right to appeal (see above, Rights of appeal and procedure).

 

Monopolies and abuses of market power

Scope of rules

16. Are monopolies and abuses of market power regulated under administrative and/or criminal law? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

The abuse of a dominant position is prohibited under the Cartel Act (section 5, Cartel Act).

Regulatory authority

The FCA is responsible for initial investigations into abuse of a dominant position. Formal proceedings are started at the Cartel Court (see Question 6).

 
17. How is dominance/market power determined?

Dominance by a single undertaking

An undertaking holds a dominant position if it:

  • Faces no, or no effective, competition.

  • Has an overpowering market position based on its financial strength, relationships with other undertakings, or access to upstream or downstream markets, taking into account market entry by other undertakings.

A dominant position is presumed to exist if the undertaking concerned has a market share of either:

  • At least 30%.

  • More than 5% and it either:

    • is one of the four largest competitors in a relevant market that together hold at least 80% market share; or

    • does not face competition from more than two other undertakings in the relevant market.

These thresholds trigger a shift in the burden of proof, so that the dominant undertaking must prove that it faces effective competition to rebut this presumption.

Dominance by two or more undertakings

Two or more undertakings hold a dominant position (collective dominance) if both:

  • No effective competition between the undertakings exists.

  • The undertakings concerned in their entirety face no, or no effective, competition or have an overpowering market position.

A collective dominant position is presumed to exist if the undertakings concerned in their entirety have a market share of:

  • At least 50% and comprise three or less undertakings.

  • At least two-thirds and comprise five or less undertakings. These thresholds trigger a shift in the burden of proof, so that the dominant undertakings must prove that they face effective competition to rebut this presumption.

 
18. Are there any broad categories of behaviour that may constitute abusive conduct?

A dominant position is not in itself an offence. The Cartel Act provides the following non-exhaustive forms of abuse (section 5, Cartel Act):

  • Directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions.

  • Limiting production, markets or technical development to the prejudice of consumers.

  • Applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage.

  • Making the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations that, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subjects of those contracts.

  • Sale of goods below cost.

 

Exemptions and exclusions

19. Are there any exemptions or exclusions?

A dominant position is not in itself an offence. However, an undertaking holding such a position has a special responsibility not to impede competition by abusing that position. There are no exemptions to that prohibition but there is a large grey area and market players are well advised to seek legal guidance to ensure their compliance.

 

Notification

20. Is it necessary (or, if not necessary, possible/advisable) to notify the conduct to obtain clearance or (formal or informal) guidance from the regulator? If so, what is the applicable procedure?

It is not possible to notify the conduct and the FCA does not generally provide informal guidance (see Question 5).

 

Investigations

21. What (if any) procedural differences are there between investigations into monopolies and abuses of market power and investigations into restrictive agreements and practices?

The same rules apply as for restrictive agreements and practices (see Questions 6 to 9 and Question 11).

 
22. What are the regulator's powers of investigation?

The same rules apply as for restrictive agreements and practices (see Question 10).

 

Penalties and enforcement

23. What are the penalties for abuse of market power and what orders can the regulator make?

The general rules relating to fines apply (see Question 13, Fines). In addition, the Cartel Court can impose fines of up to 10% of the total turnover of the last financial year on undertakings (or associations of undertakings) for a breach of the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position.

 

Third party damages claims

24. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of abuse of market power? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

The same rules apply as for restrictive agreements and practices (see Question 14).

 

EU law

25. Are there any differences between the powers of the national regulatory authority(ies) and courts in relation to cases dealt with under Article 101 and/or Article 102 of the TFEU, and those dealt with only under national law?

There are no differences between the powers of the FCA and Cartel Court in relation to cases dealt with under Article 101 and/or Article 102, and those dealt with under national law.

 

Joint ventures

26. How are joint ventures analysed under competition law?

The formation of a joint venture is considered to be a concentration that is subject to merger control if the joint venture performs on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous undertaking (full-function joint venture) (section 7(2), Cartel Act). For a full-function joint venture to exist, the joint venture must be:

  • Established on a lasting basis.

  • An independent business entity (rather than a subsidiary that only performs auxiliary functions for the parent companies).

Thresholds

Joint ventures must be notified if all of the following turnover thresholds are met (based on the turnover in the last financial year before the transaction) (section 9(1), Cartel Act):

  • The worldwide turnover of all undertakings concerned exceeds EUR300 million.

  • The combined domestic turnover of all undertakings concerned exceeds EUR30 million.

  • The individual worldwide turnover of at least two of the undertakings concerned exceeds EUR5 million.

However, where the thresholds are met, the joint venture does not need to be notified if both of the following apply (section 9(2), Cartel Act):

  • Only one of the undertakings concerned reached a domestic annual turnover of more than EUR5 million.

  • The other undertakings concerned reached a worldwide annual turnover of no more than EUR30 million.

The thresholds for joint ventures are lower for undertakings active in the media sector. When calculating the turnover thresholds:

  • The turnover of media undertakings must be multiplied by 200.

  • The turnover of media support undertakings must be multiplied by 20. Media support undertakings can include:

    • publishing houses as long as they do not qualify as media companies themselves;

    • printing houses;

    • companies acting as wholesalers of media products; and

    • companies acting as agents for advertising orders.

In addition, telecommunications and media companies may require special approval from their sector-specific regulators.

When assessing concentrations in the media sector, media diversity must be taken into account, on the basis that the restriction of media diversity may have negative effects on the foundations of a democratic and cultural society (section 13, Cartel Act).

Joint ventures taking place outside of Austria are only exempt from the notification requirement if those concentrations do not have any impact on the Austrian market (section 24(2), Cartel Act). However, except in special cases, concentrations meeting the above thresholds will usually have such an impact. Concentrations with a community dimension must be notified to the European Commission.

Other joint ventures are examined under the provisions relating to restrictive agreements and practices. The Cartel Court can impose fines on the undertakings that submitted the notification. Individuals acting for the undertakings are not held liable for infringements under the Cartel Act.

See Question 13, Nature of fines.

 

Inter-agency co-operation

27. Does the regulatory authority in your jurisdiction co-operate with regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions in relation to infringements of competition law? If so, what is the legal basis for and extent of co-operation (in particular, in relation to the exchange of information)?

The FCA treats co-operation with other jurisdictions as a priority, as competition is not only a national but a global matter. In the EU, the Cartel Court is a competition authority within the meaning of Article 11 of Regulation (EC) 1/2003 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU, which provides for co-operation between the European Commission and the national competition authorities. Outside the EU, Austria has entered into bilateral and multilateral competition agreements. Information on existing agreements can be found on the FCA's website (see box, The regulatory authorities).

 

Proposals for reform

28. Are there any proposals for reform concerning restrictive agreements and market dominance?

Reform of the Austrian competition legislation was completed in March 2013. The changes focused on de minimis rules, collective dominance and procedural issues. No further reform is expected at the moment.

 

Online resources

Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria

W www.ris.bka.gv.at

Description. Official website maintained by the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria, containing up-to-date legislation and case law of the Cartel Court and the Supreme Cartel Court in German.

Federal Competition Agency (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA)

W www.bwb.gv.at

Description. Official website of the Federal Competition Agency (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA), containing up-to-date general information on Austrian competition law, the activities of the FCA, summary information on merger notifications and so on in German.

Federal Competition Agency (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA)

W www.en.bwb.gv.at

Description. English version of the official website of the FCA, which may not be up-to-date. It has limited content on Austrian competition law, the activities of the FCA, and summary information on merger notifications, among other things.



The regulatory authorities

The Cartel Court (Kartellgericht)

Contact details. Oberlandesgericht Wien als Kartellgericht
Justizpalast
Schmerlingplatz 11
1010 Vienna
Austria
T +43 1 521 523 346
F +43 1 521 523 690

Outline structure. The Cartel Court comprises:

  • Seven professional judges.
  • 15 lay judges.

The tribunal for a particular case consists of up to two professional judges and two lay judges. If votes are equal, the presiding professional judge's vote is decisive. Decisions of the Cartel Court can be appealed within four weeks to the Supreme Cartel Court (Kartellobergericht).

Responsibilities. The Cartel Court is the competent court for national and European competition rules. The Cartel Court:

  • Decides on whether to clear concentrations in Phase II proceedings initiated by the Federal Competition Agency (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA) or Federal Cartel Prosecutor (Bundeskartellanwalt) (FCP).
  • Decides on applications from the FCA and FCP and undertakings affected by anti-competitive behaviour.
  • Issues cease and desist orders.
  • Imposes fines for infringements of competition rules.

Procedure for obtaining documents. Parties to an anti-trust case can access the Cartel Court's case file. Third parties have no rights to access documents.

Federal Competition Agency (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde) (FCA)

Head. Dr Theodor Thanner

Contact details. Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde
Praterstrasse 31
1020 Vienna
Austria
T +43 1 245 080
F +43 1 587 4200
E wettbewerb@bwb.gv.at
W www.bwb.gv.at

Outline structure. The FCA is managed by the Director General (DG) for Competition, who is appointed by the federal government. The staff of the FCA is bound by the DG's directives.

Responsibilities. The FCA's responsibilities are to:

  • Promote the enforcement of the competition rules.
  • Perform investigations.
  • Examine mergers in Phase I proceedings.
  • Make applications to the Cartel Court.
  • Perform as an official party in cartel proceedings.

Procedure for obtaining documents. The FCA publishes summary information concerning concentrations on its website.

Federal Cartel Prosecutor (Bundeskartellanwalt) (FCP)

Head. Dr Alfred Mair

Contact details. Bundeskartellanwalt
Schmerlingplatz 11
1016 Vienna
Austria
T +43 1 521 523 057
F +43 1 521 523 690

Outline structure. The FCP is appointed to represent the public interest in competition matters before the Cartel Court. The FCP is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Justice and is assisted by one deputy.

Responsibilities. The FCP's duty is to represent the public interest in competition matters. This obligation consists of:

  • Promoting the enforcement of the competition rules.
  • Examining mergers.
  • Engaging in competition advocacy by addressing the Cartel Court.

Procedure for obtaining documents. Documents cannot be obtained from the FCP.


 

Contributor profiles

Claudine Vartian

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH

T +43 1 531 78 1038
F +43 1 533 52 52
E claudine.vartian@dlapiper.com
W www.dlapiper.com

Professional qualifications. Austria, Lawyer, 1997

Areas of practice. Competition and anti-trust; regulatory; litigation; telecoms law.

Recent transactions

  • Successfully defended an Austrian-based industrial group and one of the largest mineral oil groups in Central and Eastern Europe, in a case of alleged abuse of a dominant market position before the Cartel Court in Vienna.
  • Advising eTel Group Limited on the sale of all its operating subsidiaries to Telekom Austria AG, including a Phase II merger control examination in Austria.
  • Advising a global steel corporation on the acquisition of certain assets in Europe and on filing the required merger notification in Austria and Germany and obtaining clearance.

Florian Schuhmacher

Of counsel DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH

T +43 1 531 78 1014
F +43 1 533 52 52
E florian.schuhmacher@dlapiper.com
W www.dlapiper.com

Areas of practice. Anti-trust and competition law; civil and business law.

Non-professional qualifications. Full professor for civil and business law at the Vienna University of Economics (WU Wien)

Recent transactions

  • Advising in an abuse of dominance proceeding against a multinational company.
  • Advising German publishing group BURDA DRUCK on several recent merger notifications in Austria.
  • Providing expert opinions in various areas of expertise.

Publications. Numerous publications on Austrian and European competition law and other areas of business law.

Nicole Daniel, Associate

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH

T +43 1 531 78 1922
F +43 1 533 52 52
E nicole.daniel@dlapiper.com
W www.dlapiper.com

Areas of practice. Competition and anti-trust; litigation; regulatory.


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