Main mission and tasks of the Office
The main mission of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic is to protect and promote competition and to create conditions for its further development.
Competition between undertakings is the essential mechanism of market economy – it stimulates innovations, reduces production costs and increases the efficiency of the whole economy. Companies stimulated by competition strive to offer better quality products at lower prices. To make competition work properly, competition law prohibits practices restricting competition.
The role of the Office is to intervene against prohibited practices, to control market structure and to act to create favourable competitive conditions.
For this purpose the Office assesses:
- agreements between undertakings restricting competition. Cartels and other unfair arrangements between undertakings are usually aimed at reducing competition and subsequent price increase;
- the abuse of dominant position - the Office controls whether dominant enterprises do not abuse their market power, especially the cases when the undertakings strive to exclude their rivals from the market;
- mergers - through a merger control the Office examines the impact of large transactions on market structures. The merger control is a preventive tool used by the Office;
- the action of authorities of state administration and self-administration - the Office is entitled to sanction also the authorities of state administration or local self-administration if they give an advantage to a certain undertaking or otherwise restrict competition.
The Office decides on competition law infringements in an administrative proceeding, which ends with the issuance of a decision. For the infringement of law the Office shall impose on an undertaking a fine of up to 10 % of its turnover for a preceding closed accounting period. The fine may be imposed repeatedly. The Office may also decide on imposing an obligation to refrain from illegal conduct and remedy unlawful state of affairs.
The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic strives to enhance a competitive environment and to remove potential barriers to an effective competition not only by its decisions-making activity, but also by other activities.
For this purpose it:
- preventively affects policies having impact on competition (for example by its opinions and comments on the drafts of acts and other materials in the interministry comment procedure);
- secures the promotion of competition protection principles through various initiative materials, sector inquiries and analyses, seminars, conferences, public debates and lectures;
- represents the Slovak Republic in international negotiations and fora in the field of competition. It is active in working groups of the European Competition Network (ECN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it participates in the activities of the International Competition Network (ICN), the European Competition Authorities (ECA) and establishes bilateral relations with foreign competition authorities and experts in this field;
- proposes various measures to protect and promote competition.