Assessment of cause
If a complaint to the Competition Authority meets the requirements made in the rules of procedure, the Competition Authority will decide whether the complaint provides adequate cause for the initiation of an investigation and proceedings.
In assessing whether a complaint warrants an investigation, the Competition Authority will take into account the objective viewpoints regarded as relevant in each case. The following points can be significant for the assessment of the Competition Authority of whether an investigation is warranted:
- The seriousness of the alleged violation or distortion of competition. The incident in question may be serious from the point of view of the complainant, but the Competition Authority will assess the matter as a whole from the point of view of the public interest.
- The question whether the barrier to competition is relevant only to the business interests of the complainant or whether it may have a wider harmful impact on competition. This includes the question of whether public interests are at stake.
- Whether the undertaking which is the subject of the complaint has desisted from the conduct giving rise to the complaint. The possible meaning of a potential investigation is assessed.
- The question whether interests of the complainant can be protected before the courts of justice. Not all infringements of the Competition Act need to be brought before the Competition Authority. The complainant may have possession of sufficient evidence and information to initiate proceedings before the courts.
In assessing whether a complaint warrants an investigation, the Competition Authority may seek outside comments. This means that the Competition Authority may seek information and opinions from third parties for the purpose of assessing whether a case needs to be opened.