Potential amendments of the Competition Act relating to the new administrative acts

As a result of the new Hungarian General Administrative Procedural Act and the Administrative Court Procedural Act applicable from 1 January 2018, the amendment of the Hungarian Competition Act has become necessary. The bill on the amendments is currently under administrative discussions.

According to the bill, the provisions of the General Administrative Procedural Act would only be applicable for the competition control proceedings in case of the Competition Act expressly provides so. Certain issues will be regulated by the Competition Act in a way different from the General Administrative Procedural Act, such as the rules of the disqualification, the definition of the client, the processing of data and inspecting the files, the provisions of ascertaining the relevant facts of the case and the rules of the administrative deadline or the initiation of the proceedings.

Under the current Competition Act, agreements of minor importance shall not be subject to prohibition. According to the bill, an agreement between competitors is deemed an agreement of minor importance in case the combined market share of the competitors does not exceed 10% on the markets affected. As a new provision, the bill includes that an agreement between parties who are not competitors shall only be considered as an agreement of minor importance in case the combined market share of the parties does not exceed 15% each on any markets affected.

In case it is likely that the decision of the authority acknowledging or permitting the concentration was based on a misleading conduct of the client, the bill introduces a proceeding disclosing the misuse as a new and separate procedure. At the end of this proceeding, the revocation of the decision may be a legal consequence.

The majority of the new provisions will enter into force on 1 January 2018.

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