The legal framework on competition is as follows:
The Authority responsible for monitoring and the application of competition rules, namely the Competition Commission, may establish the existence of partnerships between businesses looking to or resulting in restricting competition, as well as their exemption when they produce positive financial results.
The same authority takes preventive measures to control the effect of mergers on competition, may impose penalties and take precautionary measures in respect of each case.
Abuse of dominant position
The relevant regulations are set by the law on free competition. The Competition Commission identifies abuse of dominant market position by companies, as well as abuse of the economic dependence of other companies on them.
Strict provisions govern company mergers.
Other types of unfair competition
The following legislative acts apply to other types of unfair competition:
The law regarding the provision of aid to investment projects provides incentives for investments in excess of 100.000€ in all sectors of the economy, implemented throughout Greece by companies regardless of their size, focusing on small and medium-size enterprises and emerging sectors of the economy, through intermediary management bodies.
Consumer protection issues are covered by the following Laws:
National competition authorities
The Competition Commission is an independent administrative authority responsible for administering competition-related matters. It enforces the law on controlling monopolies while safeguarding free competition.
It has the right to intervene in economic sectors of the economy and the power to implement EU laws on competition.
Inter alia, it is responsible for:
- investigating business partnerships which limit competition or intend to do so;
- annulling certain partnerships when this proves to be in the consumer's interest;
- investigating businesses which hold a dominant position in the market and engage in unfair practices;
- making statements to the Ministry of Development on the state of play of competition nationally;
- working with the European Commission and other EU national authorities on implementing EU competition law;
- monitoring the enforcement of judgments (whether its own or the court's) or ministerial orders in cases where competition law has been infringed.
The civil courts are responsible for implementing the law on unfair competition.
Strict provisions govern company mergers
Notification on the concentration of enterprises should be issued within one month of completion of the merger, subject to one of the following conditions:
- market share of the products or services concerned represents at least 10% of the total turnover in the national market, or a significant portion of it;
- total turnover of all merging companies amounts to at least 15,000,000 Euros.
All individuals and legal entities have the right to file a complaint about a perceived case of unfair competition.
The complaint can be filed either in writing or electronically. It should include details of real facts and relevant evidence, as well as reasonable explanation of the reason behind the violation.
If a violation is confirmed, the fine may run up to 15% of the gross income of the business for that financial year or the financial year prior to the violation. If a business does not conform to the decision of the Competition Commission, a fine of up to 10,000 Euros per day may be incurred.
Businesses that supply information and data on a forbidden partnership may ask for exemption from, or a reduction in, any fines, in accordance with Greece's leniency programme.