Competition law seeks to guarantee free competition and the proper working of the market.
Any agreement between companies, any decision taken by groups of companies, and any concerted action whose aim or effect is to impede, restrain or distort competition in a given market is prohibited.
Abuse of a dominant position
It is illegal to benefit from a position of leadership to dominate the market.
Other types of unfair competition
Luxembourg law also covers commercial practices liable to result in unfair competition, such as comparative advertising or lotteries, competitions and promotional draws. All business owners are also required to meet the associated obligations.
The following competition practices are prohibited:
- unfair competition, i.e. any abusive commercial practice towards another company;
- misleading advertising, i.e. deceiving the consumer and provoking behaviour which harms the competitor;
- selling at a loss ;
- chain sales, i.e. a network of sellers and professionals where the aim is to benefit more from expanding the network than from selling the goods or services;
- hawking, i.e. door-to-door sales.
National competition authorities
The competition authorities in Luxembourg are the Competition Council and the Competition Inspectorate. These bodies work with competition authorities, other EU countries and the European Commission within the European Competition Network.
Strict provisions govern company mergers
Any business owner can report anti-competitive behaviour that he feels affects him to the Competition Council by lodging a full complaint.
If a business owner suspects any anti-competitive behaviour but does not have the evidence needed to submit an actual complaint, he can apply to the Competition Inspectorate.
- Lodging a formal complaint - Competition Inspectorate
A business owner who has entered into an anti-competitive agreement may enter a plea for clemency while putting a stop this practices, and be granted a dispensation or a reduction in the fine imposed.