ZWeR 2005, 63

RWS Verlag Kommunikationsforum GmbH, Köln RWS Verlag Kommunikationsforum GmbH, Köln 1611-1982 Zeitschrift für Wettbewerbsrecht ZWeR 2005 AufsätzeFranz Hoffet*

The Revised Swiss Act on Cartels

On April 1, 2004 some substantial amendments of the Swiss Act on Cartels entered into force. After the expiration of a grace period of one year on March 31, 2005 horizontal hard core cartels, vertical price fixing and absolute territorial exclusivity in distributor agreements as well as abuses of dominant positions are subject to fines up to 10 % of the turnover achieved in Switzerland over the last three years. The amendment also includes the introduction of a leniency program and improved investigative powers of the Swiss competition authorities. This important amendment is the occasion for the author to give an overview of the main features of the present Swiss cartel legislation.

Contents

  • I. Legal Framework of Swiss Competition Law
    • 1. Act on Cartels
      • 1.1 Historical Overview
      • 1.2 Ordinances
      • 1.3 Notices
    • 2. Other relevant Legislation
      • 2.1 Price Surveillance Act
      • 2.2 Single Market Act
      • 2.3 Technical Trade Barriers Act
      • 2.4 Public Procurement Act
  • ZWeR 2005, 64
  • II. Main Features of the Act on Cartels
    • 1. Influence of European Competition Law
    • 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of the Act on Cartels
      • 2.1 Purpose
      • 2.2 Scope of Application
    • 3. Relationships with other Provisions of the Law
      • 3.1 Areas exempt from the Application of Competition Law
      • 3.2 Intellectual Property Rights
    • 4. The System of Substantive Rules of Swiss Competition Law
      • 4.1 Unlawful Agreements
      • 4.2 Abuses of a Dominant Position
      • 4.3 Merger Control
    • 5. Enforcement
  • III. Competition Authorities
    • 1. Administrative Bodies
      • 1.1 The Competition Commission
      • 1.2 Secretariat
    • 2. Civil Courts
    • 3. Appellate Bodies
      • 3.1 Administrative Procedures
      • 3.2 Civil Procedures
  • IV. Substantive Law
    • 1. Unlawful Agreements
      • 1.1 Definition
      • 1.2 Agreements eliminating Competition
      • 1.3 Agreements significantly affecting Competition
      • 1.4 Justification on Grounds of Economic Efficiency
      • 1.5 Agreements which unsignificantly affect Competition
    • 2. Unlawful Practices of Dominant Undertakings
      • 2.1 Definition of Dominance
      • 2.2 Types of Unlawful Practices of Dominant Undertakings
    • 3. Concentrations
      • 3.1 Mandatory Notification System for certain Concentrations
      • 3.2 Notification Thresholds
      • 3.3 Substantive Test
      • 3.4 Main Procedural Features of Merger Control in Switzerland
  • V. Main Features of the Administrative Procedures
    • 1. Preliminary Investigations
    • 2. Investigations
    • 3. Investigative Measures
    • 4. Proceedings under the EC-Swiss Treaty on Air Transport
    • 5. Fees
  • VI. Sanctions
    • 1. Administrative Sanctions
      • 1.1 First Time Infringement Sanctions
      • 1.2 Fines in case of Non-Compliance with Amicable Settlements or Administrative Decisions
      • 1.3 Sanctions in connection with Concentrations
    • 2. Criminal Sanctions
      • 2.1 Violations of Amicable Settlements and Administrative Decisions
      • 2.2 Other Violations
    • 3. Leniency Rules
    • 4. Notification of Restraints
*
*)
Dr. iur., LL.M. (Chicago), Rechtsanwalt, Partner and Head of the competition practice team at Homburger, Zurich. The author expresses his gratitude to lic. iur. Alexander Bürgi for his assistance in finalizing this article.

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