Hungary: Changes To Competition Act On The Horizon

The Hungarian competition act currently deviates from the EU competition law regime in several noteworthy aspects. However, Hungary is about to take a further step to bring its rules in line with EU rules. Proposed amendments to the country's Competition Act ("CA") are currently pending before the Hungarian Parliament. One of these changes affects the suspension clause in merger control proceedings. Such clause is to be firmly introduced, but the proposed changes raise some questions.

The suspension clause

The current Hungarian CA does not contain an explicit suspension clause, i.e. it does not explicitly prohibit the implementation of a transaction (that meets the turnover thresholds) before its approval by the Hungarian competition authority (GVH).

Instead, the CA currently

  1. sets out that the GVH's (i.e. third-party) approval is required for the coming into existence of the contract resulting in a concentration. This provision, however, is commonly interpreted to mean that the closing of a transaction without prior approval is permissible at the parties' own risk, as long as merger control approval is obtained subsequently, as such approval renders the contract to be deemed to have come into existence retroactively; and
  2. does not provide for any fines if a notifiable transaction is closed without prior merger control approval (but rather, only for the failure to notify / belated notifying of a notifiable transaction).

To fill this legal loophole, it has been proposed to include the following provisions in the CA:

  • a notifiable concentration may not be implemented without the prior authorization of the GVH; in particular, voting rights and the right to appoint the management may not be exercised without prior approval by the GVH. 

    This prohibition does not apply to the conclusion of the contract bringing about the concentration or the issuance of a public take-over bid or - on the basis of the above - the performance of such legal acts and declarations that are necessary for bringing about the concentration which do not yet result in exercising of the control rights by the acquirer.
  • upon a prior reasoned request of the party obliged to file the notification, the GVH may allow the exercising of control rights, especially if it is necessary for maintaining the full value of the party's investment. 

    Such derogation from the suspension clause might be made subject to conditions and obligations (limitation of control rights); at the same time, the GVH may oblige the parties to submit the documents on exercising their control rights (e.g. resolutions, etc). In its decision about the concentration, the GVH states whether the exercising of control rights was in line with the limitation of control rights which it had ordered earlier. 

    Contrary to the EU Merger Control Regulation ("ECMR"), it is unlikely that the parties would be entitled to apply for the derogation before notifying the planned concentration to the GVH.
  • If the GVH does not authorize the concentration, any act or declaration resulting from the exercising of control rights in breach of the suspension clause (or in breach of the above imposed conditions and obligations) is null and void; the party exercising control rights in breach of the suspension clause or in breach of the conditions or obligations may not refer to the nullity and is liable for damages arising from the legal consequences of nullity.
  • a daily fine (min. HUF 50,000 -- max. HUF 200,000, with the total amount of the fine being capped at 10% of turnover) calculated until the start of the competition supervisory proceeding may be imposed for implementation of a merger which has not been notified. This maximum daily fine of HUF 200,000 is identical to that applied by the current rules for late notifying, while the minimum amount is newly introduced.

In view of the introduction of a suspension clause, the proposal foresees a shorter deadline (30 days instead of the currently applicable 45 days) for the GVH to assess a concentration in Phase I (while the deadline for a full - Phase II - proceeding remains four months). It has yet to be seen to what extent the derogation will be resorted to, considering the shortening of the Phase I deadline for the assessment of the concentration on its merits.

At first sight, these changes seem by and large in line with the ECMR.

Further changes

The bill contains several other proposed amendments to the CA also affecting other areas of competition law, including cartel proceedings. These include the introduction of a settlement procedure (which can lead to a decrease by 10% of the fine imposed against an undertaking which committed an infringement) and changes to the rules of access to file (by allowing a wider access to the file than the currently applicable provisions).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions