Legal Business

Austria part 2 – competitive spirit

Austria’s competition authority is one of the smallest enforcers in Europe, but recently it hasn’t shied away from taking on tough cases against major companies

What do beer, sugar, lifts, freight forwarders and plumbers all have in common? They were all industries subject to big cartel cases in Austria in the past few years. The once-sleepy Bundeswettbewerbsbehorde, or Austrian Federal Cartel Authority (FCA), has displayed new bite: it’s taken on several big new investigations against major companies and is keen to issue some hefty fines. It has caused consternation in the market with its tough new approach, knocking on the doors of major corporates in dawn raids, and has even started issuing press releases while cases are ongoing. All of this has meant an interesting, and very busy, few years for Austria’s select band of specialist cartel lawyers.