Mrs. Agnete Gersing, Director General in the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, says:
“The OECD has found that the Competition and Consumer Authority is a “well-managed and strategically focused competition authority”. That pleases me of course. At the same time the OECD points out that our most important challenges consist of our framework and the legislation that the Danish competition authorities are governed by.”
The OECD recommends that a number of improvements be considered. The recommendations are listed up in a new report containing a thorough assessment of the Danish competition authorities, their institutional set-up and of the Danish legislation on the competition area.
In the report the OECD points out that the structure of Danish competition law and enforcement is different from that of many EU Member states. Although the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority is an administrative enforcement authority with powers to make administrative determinations and issue orders requiring undertakings and individuals terminate infringements, it has no power to impose fines. In Denmark fines must be imposed by the criminal courts. As a consequence, enforcement of the Danish Competition Act is bifurcated between the Danish Competition Authority and the public prosecutor who has jurisdiction to initiate criminal prosecutions for the imposition of fines for competition law infringements.
The OECD recommends that considerations be given to amendments to the law that would provide more streamlined procedures for adjudicating culpability for infringements and imposing sanctions in Danish Competition Act and EU Treaty cases in Denmark.
Furthermore, the OECD points out as an important weakness that the Danish Competition Act allows for industry specific exceptions on an ad hoc basis from the prohibition in the Competition Act against anti-competitive agreements.
On the basis of a thorough examination of the work of the Danish Competition Authority, Danish competition legislation and interviews with a large number of stakeholders the report concludes that the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority is “well managed and strategically focused”. The report also concludes that the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority “is viewed as a powerful, energetic and influential authority with good access to the Government and with a strong public message and profile”.
In Denmark, the competition authorities consist of the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority including the Competition Council, and the State Prosecutor for Serious and International Economic Crimes (SEIC). Together with the Competition Council the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority make the administrative determinations and the SEIC handles the criminal prosecution of competition law infringements.
For more information please contact the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority’s Communication Division, phone +45 4171 5098.