Harris Kyriakides participates in the public consultation of the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition on the 2021 Protection of Competition Law and Leniency Programme Regulations.
In May 2020, the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) launched a public consultation on (a) the draft Law on the protection of competition of 2021, which shall replace the laws on the Protection of Competition of 2008 and 2014; and (b) the draft Regulations of the Leniency Programme of 2021, which are aimed to replace the existing regulations which were enacted back in 2011. Harris Kyriakides participates in the public consultation of the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition on the 2021 Protection of Competition Law and Leniency Programme Regulations.
Harris Kyriakides participated in the public consultation of the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition on the 2021 Protection of Competition Law and Leniency Programme Regulations. The competition team of Harris Kyriakides LLC, led by Michael Kyriakides, Partner, and Dr. Panagiotis Tsangaris, Senior Associate, participated in the public consultation with a number of proposals that were submitted to the CPC within the consultation timeframe.
The rationale of the consultation process
The proposed amendments are considered necessary for the transposition into Cyprus law of the Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (the Directive). The aim of the Directive is to ensure that national competition authorities are guaranteed independence, adequate resources and personnel and enforcement and sanctions powers which are necessary to implement articles 101 and 102 of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union effectively. In addition, it aims to ensure that national competition authorities have leniency programmes in place which encourage companies to hand over evidence in relation to illegal cooperations which may take place in different jurisdictions.
The basic principles of the Directive
The provisions that shall be enacted in Cyprus law in order to align national law with the , once adopted, will provide the national competition authorities with a minimum common toolkit and effective enforcement powers, making sure that they will:
- Act independently when enforcing EU antitrust rules and work in a fully impartial manner, without taking instructions from public or private entities.
- Have the necessary financial and human resources to do their work.
- Have all the powers needed to gather all relevant evidence, such as the right to search mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
- Have adequate tools to impose proportionate and deterrent sanctions for breaches of EU antitrust rules. The proposal includes rules on parental liability and succession so that companies cannot escape fines through corporate re-structuring. National competition authorities will also be able to enforce the payment of fines against infringing companies that do not have a legal presence on their territory, an important feature since an increasing number of companies operate internationally.
- Have coordinated leniency programmes which encourage companies to come forward with evidence of illegal cartels. This will increase the overall incentives for companies to participate in leniency programmes and report their participation in a cartel.
The transposition deadline for the Directive
The deadline for the transposition of the Directive by Member States is 4 February 2021.
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.