Legal System Governing Competition in consultation until 5.12.2011

A Government draft law on the Legal System in Portugal Governing Competition is in consultation until 5 December 2011.  According to the Executive, the revision of current Lei da Concorrência (Competition Law) is proposed along the following lines:

  • simplification of the law, separating regulations governing the application of competition rules from regulation governing criminal procedures, making the competition regime more efficient;
  • rationalising the conditions which determine the opening of investigations, enabling Autoridade da Concorrência (the Portuguese Competition Authority) to make assessments on the relevance of the complaints which it receives;
  • establishment of procedures which will bring Portuguese competition law, in terms of controlling concentration operations between companies, closer into line with Regulation of Concentrations in the European Union especially regarding the criteria whereby it becomes mandatory to give notification of a concentration operation on an ex ante basis;
  • guarantee of greater clarity and legal certainty in the application of the Código de Procedimento Administrativo (Administrative Proceeding Code) to the procedures overseeing concentration operations between companies;
  • examination of the current appeal process and consequent adjustment, where necessary, to enhance fairness and efficiency in terms of procedural safeguards and improvements thereto.

The Government has also said that the new regulatory framework will achieve compliance with measures (in particular measure 7.19) set out in the memorandum of understanding agreed between the Portuguese State and the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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