Competition encourages development. As companies compete with each other to sell their products, many new ideas are born that inspire the entire market. However, the competition must remain fair throughout. This is what competition law helps in: it regulates the behaviour of companies and the way they act towards each other. Its rules are “rubber rules” that are filled with content by the competition authorities or the court, so every case is different and each requires a lot of creativity. But that's why it's so enjoyable!
Competition law expert
“Back in the day, I used to play competitive basketball. Now sitting behind a desk, I engage in the thrills of competition law. Since every case is different, each requires a different approach. Whatever the situation, the challenge is great and serious creativity is necessary to find the appropriate solution. That is the beauty of this area of law.”
The Competition Authority works in two ways. On the one hand, business owners can be informed about what is happening in the market from the notifications, complaints or other valuable information addressed to the Authority. On the other hand, it supervises and examines markets “ex officio”. It monitors companies, professional chambers, advocacy associations in the background and, with sufficient information, launches an investigation in case of well-founded suspicion. At this point, the market participant suddenly notices that is it caught up in the middle of an official investigation and needs to provide data or needs to complete a questionnaire at the request of the Competition Authority.
- We perform audits and screenings
- We check for any legal concerns
- During transactions, we ensure that everything is handled in accordance to the laws guiding competition
- We give informative lectures and trainings
- We help identify situations of concern
- We analyze the market situation
- We describe the practice of the competition authorities and the courts
- We help create the business models which abide by the laws of competition
- We participate in the competition authority proceedings
- We prepare those involved for each procedural step
- We provide advice on developing the expected and appropriate corporate behaviour
Exciting competition law
The authority set up to enforce competition rules has strong procedural powers. One of its surprising options is that it may show up at businesses without any prior notice and can start to investigate there: it can collect information, copy and take documents, and seize assets.
These are covert agreements between competitors, which are the most harmful and penalized with high fines by the competition authorities.
Competition proceedings can also result in a significant fine, which poses a serious threat to businesses. It is better for any company to prevent any suspicion than to need to explain itself in an official procedure.
Legal500 EMEA 2020 // may 2020
Legal 500 ’s publication appraising law firms ranked us high in the field of competition law. Our clients consider us to be “super-effective” and they also described Andrea Belényi's professional competence with the same word combination.
Legal500 EMEA 2019 // June 2019
Andrea Belényi leads the competition team with an experienced, knowledgeable expert. Our office has recently been entrusted by several leading international and Hungarian companies with competition law duties.
Dr Laura Kőszegi, Dr Gábor Hacsi // 28 February 2017
Even in the most honorable of business transactions, any manager could easily find himself in a discussion about anti-competitive matters and thereby suddenly become a member of a cartel. The manager’s conduct may consequently result in a fine imposed on his company of up to several hundred million Hungarian forints. Managers are usually aware that agreements between competitors aimed to reconcile their business policies are considered anti-competitive agreements i.e. cartels.
Dr Gábor Hacsi és Dr Endre Várady // 7 January 2015
Exchange of business information between the parties of M&A deals may be considered anti-competitive. Namely, the parties that are competitors may coordinate each other’s business behaviour via exchange of such information, so they run a serious risk of cartel formation.
First and foremost, the Competition Act prohibits competitors to coordinate each other’s business behaviour as it may result in prevention, restriction, or distortion of competition. Such illegal collusion may also be carried out by exchanges of sensitive and confidential business information.