Competition compliance—Germany—Q&A guide
Published by a LexisPSL Commercial expert

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Competition compliance—Germany—Q&A guide
  • 1. What key legislation governs competition in your jurisdiction?
  • 2. Which authorities are charged with enforcing competition law in your jurisdiction and what is the extent of their powers?
  • 3. What are the consequences of non-compliance with competition law?
  • 4. Do the authorities issue guidance on compliance with competition law?
  • 5. Do any other laws outside the main competition legislation regulate competition in your jurisdiction, including any sector-specific regimes? Do they cover any other anticompetitive practices not caught by the main legislation?
  • 6. How does a company demonstrate its commitment to competition compliance?
  • 7. Is there a government-approved standard for compliance programmes in your jurisdiction?
  • 8. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding risk identification?
  • 9. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding risk assessment?
  • More...

Competition compliance—Germany—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to competition compliance in Germany published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: April 2022).

Authors: SCHULTE RECHTSANWÄLTE. Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH—Michael Dallmann; Kim Manuel Künstner

1. What key legislation governs competition in your jurisdiction?

German competition law is governed in detailed statutory rules by the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) and by European law, mainly articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), Block Exemption Regulations and respective guidelines and notices as 'soft law'. As for all European Union member states, European competition law directly applies to all cases concerning inter-member state relations (section 22 ARC).

2. Which authorities are charged with enforcing competition law in your jurisdiction and what is the extent of their powers?

The most important enforcement authority for competition law in Germany is the Federal Cartel Office (FCO). Additionally, the individual German federal states have their own competition authorities with jurisdiction in matters that affect competition at the regional level.

In Germany, cartel law violations are considered administrative offences, not criminal offences. An exception exists in the case of agreements restricting competition in tenders, which is considered a criminal offence (section 298 of the Criminal Code). These offences can only be prosecuted by the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor may prosecute

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