The Competition and Consumer Authority has many tasks of various natures. Since we do not have the resources to handle all issues in depth, we prioritise tasks based on a number of criteria.
When we prioritise, we do it mainly based on:
• Which effect our efforts is expected to have in relation to creating better-functioning markets, combined with our expected use of man hours on the particular case.
Enforcement of the Danish Competition Act
Every year, the Competition and Consumer Authority investigates over 100 cases of possible infringements of the Danish Competition Act. The Authority makes a final decision in about 50 cases each year, of which about ten are decided by the Competition Council.
When the Authority assesses whether to pursue a possible infringement of the Danish Competition Act, the assessment is based on the following criteria:
• The gravity of the infringement of the Act
• The expected impact on the market, the competition culture and the economy as a whole
• The importance, i.e. whether the case involves an issue which has not previously been clarified in legal practice
• The expected use of man hours on the particular case
The first three criteria revolve around reasons for proceeding with a case, while the last criterion relates to costs associated with proceeding with a case. The Authority’s prioritisation of the case depends on an overall assessment of the above criteria.
However, all criteria do need not be fulfilled in order for the Authority to pursue a case. The last criterion is mainly relevant if the case scores relatively low on the first three criteria. In such cases, the Authority will examine in particular whether the case requires a disproportionate amount of resources in relation to its economic importance, seriousness and importance in principle. Conversely, if a case is concerned with a serious infringement of major importance for a market, or if it is of major importance in principle, it will, as a rule, not be closed down on the basis of resource reasons.
The Competition and Consumer Authority monitors the markets in Denmark. We collect, analyse and disseminate information on competition and consumer matters.
Some of our analyses are implemented based on a specific political demand. Others are analyses which we have chosen to take up. When we prioritise the analysis of a market, we do it based on the following criteria:
• Whether there is a significant socioeconomic potential for changes
• Whether it is possible to realise this potential and make the affected markets better-functioning.
Our prioritisation of the specific analysis is based on an overall assessment.
Guidance and information
The Competition and Consumer Authority guides and informs consumers, companies and authorities on topics within our areas of responsibility. Our guidance covers everything from guidance in individual cases via the consumer hotline to major written guidances on i.a. competition and public procurement rules.
• When we prioritise which written guidance we prepare, we do so based on the following criteria:
• Whether there is a significant demand for guidance from trade organisations, authorities or other stakeholders
• Whether the rules are perceived as unclear and the existing legal practice
• Whether the guidance is expected to have a major impact on the relevant market and society as a whole.
When we prioritise our consumer information, we do it based on the following criteria:
• Whether the information is important to a large number of consumers
• Whether the information is of major importance to a limited number of consumers
• Whether it is possible to have the information disseminated on platforms other than our own
Our prioritisation of the specific guide or information is based on an overall assessment.
Tasks we cannot prioritise
Most of the Competition and Consumer Authority’s tasks are tasks which we cannot prioritise ourselves. These tasks cover a wide area, including:
• Processing of reported cases in the competition area, including mergers
• Processing of consumer complaints
• Setting of price caps for the major water companies, cf. the Danish Water Sector Reform Act
• Legislative work
• Serving the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs
• Secretariat services for: European Consumer Centre Denmark, the Storm Council, the Energy Supplies Complaint Board and the Appeals Board for Finance Companies
• Secretariat services for the Consumer Ombudsman
• Secretariat services for ad hoc committees