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The Competition Protection Committee is initiating a public consultation to establish criteria for prioritising its duties and powers as defined by the 2022 Competition Protection Law. This initiative aims to enhance transparency and effectiveness in the Committee's operations by setting clear guidelines that will direct its actions. The consultation process involves soliciting feedback from the public to ensure that the criteria reflect a balanced consideration of various factors including public interest, market impact, and resource allocation. The Committee's ultimate goal is to foster a competitive market environment that benefits consumers and the economy.

Key considerations

The Commission has identified several factors necessitating the establishment of prioritisation criteria, including:

  • Enhancing the reliability and efficiency of its mission through targeted actions.
  • Addressing significant market distortions swiftly and effectively.
  • Assessing and evaluating the impact of its actions.
  • Managing the volume and severity of complaints.
  • Limited human resources, making it inefficient to investigate minor cases.
  • Modernising its operations in line with practices of other EU competition authorities.

 

Proposed criteria

A key aspect of the consultation is the emphasis on public interest as a primary criterion. The Committee intends to prioritise cases that have significant implications for competition and consumer welfare. This includes addressing serious competition restrictions such as horizontal agreements, price-fixing, market allocation, and abuse of dominant positions. By focusing on cases that involve substantial market distortions, the Committee aims to enhance the overall competitive landscape and protect consumer interests. This approach underscores the Committee’s commitment to ensuring that its actions serve the broader public good.

Furthermore, the Commission will prioritise cases based on their potential impact on market competition, considering factors such as market structure, concentration, market shares, and consumer reach. Cases that are likely to disrupt market equilibrium or influence multiple sectors are given higher priority. This criterion ensures that the Committee’s efforts are directed towards maintaining a healthy and competitive market environment, which is essential for economic growth and consumer welfare.

Consumer impact is also a significant consideration in the prioritisation process. The Committee will place high priority on cases that promise direct benefits for consumers, such as lower prices, better quality, and increased product choices. Special attention is given to markets that are particularly important to Cypriot consumers. This focus on consumer welfare is intended to ensure that the Committee's interventions lead to tangible improvements in market conditions, fostering an environment where businesses compete fairly, and consumers enjoy the benefits of competition. Additionally, cases involving critical goods and services will be scrutinised to safeguard consumer interests effectively.

The Committee will also consider strategic importance and resource requirements when prioritising cases, focussing on cases that can contribute to the development and clarification of competition law and setting important precedents. This approach will contribute to a consistent legal framework and deterring future violations. Moreover, the availability and allocation of human resources are factored into the prioritisation process to ensure that the Committee can manage its workload efficiently. Balancing the resource demands of each case against its potential benefits allows the Committee to maximise its impact while maintaining operational efficiency.

Inviting written submissions through the e-consultation platform until 2 July, this initiative aims to gather valuable input on the proposed criteria to ensure they accurately reflect the needs and priorities of all stakeholders.

Final remarks

By participating in this process, businesses, consumers, and other interested parties can provide valuable input that directly influences a fair and competitive market environment. The consultation ensures that the criteria are comprehensive and reflect the needs and priorities of all market participants. Ultimately, this initiative is dedicated to fortifying the enforcement of competition laws, safeguarding consumer welfare, and fostering economic efficiency and innovation across Cyprus.

 

For more information please visit our website microsite on Competition & State Aid or send your queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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