Austrian Federal Competition Authority
These rules apply to all traders from EU Member States in Austria.
The tasks of the Federal Competition Authority are set out both in national law (the Austrian Competition Act (Wettbewerbsgesetz), the Austrian Antitrust Act (Kartellgesetz) and the Fair Competition Act (Faire-Wettbewerbsbedingungen-Gesetz)) and in European competition law.
Under national competition law, in its role as a party representing the public interest under the Austrian Antitrust Act the Federal Competition Authority actively brings claims before the Antitrust Court of its own motion in order to counteract restrictions of competition or breaches of the Austrian Antitrust Act.
With respect to European competition law, a broad range of tasks were entrusted to the Federal Competition Authority during the reform of antitrust law in 2002, in particular the task of cooperating with the European Commission and providing it with support in specific cases.
Moreover, the Federal Competition Authority is also involved in the European Competition Network established by Council Regulation (EU) No 1/03 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty. As part of the decentralised approach to the application of European competition law, claims lodged with and proceedings before the Antitrust Court may use Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) as a legal basis.
As a result of the tasks mentioned above and the other activities it performs, the Federal Competition Authority acts as an interface between national and European competition law, ensuring the consistent application of both.
The Federal Competition Authority has set up a whistleblowing system since 2017. People can communicate anonymously with the Federal Competition Authority about complaints. Furthermore, within the framework of the Whistleblower Protection Act, which came into force in February 2023, the Federal Competition Authority acts as a so-called external reporting office and is authorized to receive and process information from whistleblowers that falls within its area of responsibility and, if necessary, to forward it to other competent authorities. Companies, as well as public administration, are obliged to set up whistleblower systems to enable people to report violations.
So that it can perform its duties effectively, the Federal Competition Authority may exercise the following special investigative powers:
- Submission of requests for information to companies and business associations
- Right to inspect business documents as well as to produce copies or other types of transcripts
- Right to search premises (on the basis of a search warrant issued by the President of Chamber at the Antitrust Court and potentially involving state intelligence bodies) when there are grounds to suspect severe infringements of the Antitrust Act or of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, as well as in order to assist the European Commission and other competition authorities from other EU Member States in the event of inspections
- A whistleblowing system was also set up
- Austrian Federal Competition AuthorityGerman text (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde)
- European Competition NetworkGerman text
- Become a whistleblower
Responsible for the content: Austrian Federal Competition Authority