Greek competition law regime currently under review

A draft of the proposed text of the new Law, which will replace altogether the existing Law 703/1997 and its modifications, has been made available to the public. The draft proposal maintains a good number of provisions of the previous legal text unchanged, while rephrases some to reproduce the equivalent provisions of EC Regulation 1/2003 and the ECMR.

One of the proposed changes is to abolish -at last- the obligation to notify (a) agreements, decisions or concerted practices described in article 1 para.1 of the Law (article 21 of the Law in force), as well as (b) “small” concentrations (market share above 10% and turnover of at least 15 mio euro, article 4a of the Law in force).

The procedure for examining a notified concentration is to be reformed by analogy with that of the European Commission, for example in terms of time limits, their suspension, the offer of commitments from the notifying parties.

While the proposal is to reduce the ceiling of the fines on undertakings from 15% to 10% of their annual turnover, new and increased fines and imprisonment punishment are provided for individuals that took part, organized or committed the violation as well as where the violation of article 1 para.1 of the Law is committed by current or potential competitors.

As with every other modification of the Greek competition law regime, the bill includes changes in the organization of the Commission, such as the increase of the members of the Commission from 9 to 12 and of the rapporteurs from 4 to 5 and the creation of the position of Vice-President, appointed by the Ministerial Council.

The exact changes in the Greek competition law regime shall be analysed in detail, once the law is finalized and adopted.