EU competition rules
The EU Commission decides in cases of violations of the competition rules in the EU Treaty, unless handed over to the national competition authority.
The Danish Competition Authority is the Danish representative in the advisory committee for competition and merger cases, which the Commission must consult before making a decision in a concrete matter. The Danish Competition Authority also participates in the preparation of new legislation acts concerning the use and administration of the EU competition rules, as well as the authority assists the Commission in control investigations in Denmark.
The Danish Competition Authority cooperates with the competition authorities in the other Nordic countries, i.e. Finland, the Faroes, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. An annual meeting is held between the Nordic competition authorities with the purpose of exchanging experience on legislation, including discussing cases and issues of mutual interest. The competition authorities also have an ongoing cooperation concerning for instance exchange of information. A series of Nordic working groups has been set up to deal with specific issues or with industries, as for example, the aviation industry or the energy sector.
The Danish Competition Authority has signed an agreement with the competition authorities in Iceland, Norway and Sweden on the exchange of confidential competition-related information.
An agreement has also been signed with the Greenland Home Rule Government on administrative assistance to the Greenland Competition Authority. The basis of the agreement is due to the fact that some of Greenland’s competition cases are being processed by the Danish Competition Authority, before being returned to the Greenland Competition Tribunal for decision. The agreement has been in force since July 2000.
The Danish Competition Authority participates in OECD’s Competition Committee, including 3 working groups under the Committee, i.e. (1) competition and regulation, (2) international cooperation and (3) trade and competition. The Committee meets three times a year. On the meetings the activities between the Member States are discussed, information is exchanged including experience and work memoranda. All Member States make an annual report which can be downloaded on the Competition Committee’s website. Here, the Committee's work can be read and reports on different competition issues or topics can be downloaded.
Since 2001, OECD has organized Global Forum on Competition. The purpose of this forum is to increase contact between non-Member States, including a series of developing countries. Through this forum – which meets once a year – the OECD Member States try to share competences and experiences with countries which, so far, or only recently, have set up a competition legislation. Thus, the forum is not solely aimed at representatives from the competition authorities. The forum also focuses attention on more overall political-oriented competition issues, as for instance how political-oriented competition can contribute to economical development.
European cooperation - ECA
In 2001, the European competition authorities launched an informal cooperation under the name European Competition Authorities (ECA). The purpose of the ECA is to create a forum, where European competition authorities can meet and discuss the use of European competition rules and prepare the cooperation between the competition authorities. Under the auspices of the ECA, work groups have been appointed to work with leniency programmes and issues which might arise in connection with mergers registered in more than more country.
ICN - International Competition Network
The Danish Competition Authority is a member of the ICN. The purpose of the ICN is to give the competition authorities all over the world a specialised and informal network to maintain regular contacts and to handle practical competition matters. The forum is appointed by and for the competition authorities. The participation is performed on a voluntary basis, but an estimate shows that most of the world’s competition authorities over time will join the network.
The ICN work is project-oriented. One main conference is held once a year, where terminated projects are being discussed, recommendations are being discussed and decisions on new proposed projects are evaluated. Generally, it is emphasised that the ICN must cooperate with other international organisations as for instance OECD and WTO.
The Danish Competition Authority participates in the WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) working group on trade and competition. In the working group, among other things, mutual competitive political principles and possibilities of solving conflicts in the competition area are being discussed. It is a long-tern task to reach an agreement on international rules based on the WTO principles. Denmark tries to achieve influence on this process as early as possible. Influence is achieved both through the EU and the WTO. When an issue is to be discussed in the WTO, the EU countries first coordinate their position in Bruxelles.