AdC publishes Competition Policy Priorities for 2018

Press Release 24/2017
AdC publishes Competition Policy Priorities for 2018
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) will be publishing today the Competition Policy Priorities for 2018, which include the strengthening of investigative capacity in the digital environment.
The AdC will continue to reinforce its efforts to detect and sanction anticompetitive practices, thus improving the level attained last year in the investigation, sanctioning and analysis in the main sectors of the Portuguese economy.
In this context, the President of the AdC, Margarida Matos Rosa, notes that "it is essential for the deterrence of competition law infringements that the AdC keeps investigation as a top priority as I have set in 2017. The resources allocated to investigation must be complemented by others in market analysis and advocacy.  This should allow for the early identification of harmful trends to competition levels which would otherwise benefit the consumer, including the misuse of, or barriers to innovation".
In 2018, the AdC will focus on promoting competition in sectors going through digital innovation, in order to raise awareness of technological barriers that can prevent the entry of new competitors or distort competition in different markets.
In the year that will mark 15 years since the founding of the AdC, the President considers exploring new trends in the use of technologies that enable or facilitate anticompetitive behaviour, namely cartels, a priority.
Strengthening the ability to detect cartels, especially those with the greatest direct impact on the final consumer, remains another priority of the AdC for the coming year.
On 1 January 2018, following the entry into force of the new Portuguese Code of Public Contracts, the AdC shall have direct and full access to all the information available on the Public Procurement Portal (BASE portal) and the Public Works Observatory (Observatório das Obras Públicas).
The access granted to the AdC will facilitate the detection of bid-rigging in public procurement on an ex officio basis, even where no complaint or leniency application has been made, and accelerate the investigation of such practices.
Regarding merger control, the AdC sets swiftness and efficiency in the handling of merger cases as a priority in order to avoid imposing an unnecessary burden on businesses and, also, to avoid compromising the efficient functioning of competition in the Portuguese economy.
In accordance with the provisions of the Statutes of the AdC, the authority establishes and publishes its annual competition policy priorities without any sectoral reference regarding the exercise of its sanctioning powers. However, in the exercise of its regulatory and supervisory powers, the AdC establishes the following economic sectors as a priority:
  • Banking, Financial Markets and Insurance,
  • Telecommunications & Media,
  • Energy & Fuels,
  • Health & Pharmaceuticals,
  • Education,
  • Distribution & Food,
  • Environment and Waste Management,
  • Liberal Professions,
  • Transport & Infrastructures,
  • Construction.
As set out in the Priorities document, published annually by the President, "The AdC will analyse and monitor key sectors of the Portuguese economy and assess the impact of public policies on competition to subsequently provide opinions and recommendations that foster competition in the market".
Finally, in order to encourage the debate on competition law and economics both at domestic and international levels, the AdC will launch the AdC Competition Policy Award with the aim to reward the best academic paper on relevant competition matters.
  29 December 2017

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