International conference on the occasion of 20th anniversary of application of competition rules in the Slovak Republic
Conference took place in Bratislava on October 4, 2011. Speakers of the conference were representatives of political life, competition authorities of V4 member countries, Austria, Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission, competition experts from Belgium and France. Conference was attended by undertakings, advocates, judges, representatives of academics and scientists.
Three main topics were developed during the day: development and new trends of competition policy, judicial review as an important part of application of competition rules and merger assessment. For the first time in Slovakia this conference provided an outstanding platform for open discussion between representatives of competition authorities and courts jointly creating system for protection of competition. Without the final judgements of courts usually it is not possible to enforce the decisions of competition authorities. At the same time the courts are supervisors of observance of due process rules and guarantors of independent legal decision-making. The conference provided space for views of experts from both types of institutions as well as for independent view of academics and foreign experts. Competition law experts from France, Belgium and Slovakia commented the topic Judicial review as an important part of the effective application of competition rules.
Special attention has been devoted to merger control which is a special preventive tool of competition law. It must work effectively and burden the undertakings at minimum. However, the competition institution must thoroughly assess the transactions raising the competition concerns. As the globalization of economy implies also the harmonization of merger control in particular countries, the competition experts from V4 member countries and from Austria exchanged their experiences in merger assessment. They have been discussing the problematic issues, efficiency of procedures and cooperation in the framework of competition authorities. Finally, the Antimonopoly Office of SR informed the audience on proposed amendment to the Act on Protection of Competition.