Antitrust and Competition Law in Portugal
Antitrust and Competition Law in PortugalUpdated on Thursday 22nd February 2018
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The Antitrust and Competition Law in Portugal is enforced by the Portuguese Competition Authority. The Law was updated in 2012 for the purpose of a better harmonization with the EU regulations in force and contains important provisions for all actions deemed unlawful in terms of restraining trade or engaging in unfair business practices.
Our team of lawyers in Portugal highlights the main regulations for antitrust and unlawful competition.
Anti-competitive and antitrust practices in Portugal
Portugal enforces a set of laws and principles that promote effective market competition through its Competition Act. This allows for a natural market evolution, the improvement of quality and leads to an increased customer satisfaction because of an individual’s freedom of choice. Practices that may lead to a distorted competition are considered unlawful in Portugal. Examples of such practices include:
- the abuse of a dominant position;
- the abuse of economic dependence;
- company mergers and acquisitions for the purpose of reducing market competitiveness.
The Leniency Programme applies in certain cases to companies that qualify for full or partial immunity from fines when accused of infringement of competition rules. The Programme is in line with similar ones developed throughout most of the European Union and serves an important purpose in the fight against cartels. One of our lawyers in Portugal can give you more information.
The Portuguese Competition Authority
The Portuguese Competition Authority is the state body that has supervisory, regulatory and disciplinary powers in regards to the enforcement of the Competition Law in the county. It acts within all sectors of the economy, including the regulated sectors where it collaborates with the authorities that regulate the respective sectors.
The Competition Authority can prioritize antitrust and competition cases and has powers to engage in investigative activities as needed, not only on corporate premises, such as the headquarters of a company in Portugal but also in the homes of the company’s employees. In some cases, it has the right to seize the needed documents without a mandatory judicial order. The Authority may use sanctions and/or preventive measures and one of our lawyers in Portugal can give you more details on the applicable fines.
Contact our law firm in Portugal for complete information about the Competition Law and the requirements for Portuguese companies.