Answer ... Since 2017 the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has increasingly ramped up its enforcement activity. Although the number of dawn raids conducted in 2018 and 2019 fell – mostly because the PCA is still processing the extensive number of new proceedings initiated in 2017 – the coming years are expected to be the busiest ever, particularly in terms of the number of decisions and the size of the fines imposed.
The PCA has already broken several records in 2019. Notably, it imposed fines totalling €54 million on six insurance companies for cartel activity and €225 million on 11 banks for the exchange of information.
The PCA’s yearly priorities for 2019 establish cartels as a main target, with a particular focus on the leniency programme, and on algorithms and artificial intelligence.
The PCA has been tasked with proposing amendments to transpose the European Competition Network-plus Directive (2019/1), which empowers the competition authorities of EU member states to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market. This will increase its investigatory powers. The PCA’s draft legislation has been posted for public consultation.