- Consultation and representation in unfair competition law cases
- Review of contracts in regard to competition law
- Cartel law complianc
- Advice and representation in the field of unfair competition law (UWG)
- Review of contracts with regard to competition law issues
- Antitrust (cartel law) advice, in particular in the area of distribution law
Representation before courts in defending and asserting antitrust violations
The competition for customers and employees is an integral part of business life. If certain limits are exceeded, this can have legal consequences.
An important group is the so-called breach of competition through breach of law. If a competitor violates applicable legal provisions, this often gives him a decisive competitive advantage (e.g. violation of data protection law, shop opening hours, trade law, consumer credit law, inadmissible general terms and conditions, etc.).
The abuse of foreign domains or foreign trademark rights also constitutes a violation of competition.
The possible claims are manifold and include e.g.
- right to an injunction
- Right to removal
- Right to publication of judgement
- accounting claim
- Claim for damages or surrender of the profit achieved
- Right to payment of all costs incurred in legal proceedings
In order to avoid direct damage, it is also possible to apply for a temporary injunction. The UWG (Austrian Unfair Competition Law Act) also plays a central role in the area of advertising law.
Legally, a cartel is an agreement or concerted practice between undertakings with the object or effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition. It also includes abuse of a dominant position and restrictive agreements between independent market participants (vertical distribution agreements).
At European level, the basic rules are laid down in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). These are supplemented in particular by numerous block exemption regulations of the EU Commission (BERs). These lead to the approval of a number of agreements which in principle restrict competition. The Austrian Antitrust Act, on the other hand, deals with situations without effect beyond the borders of Austria. The regulations there are largely in line with European law.
The Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (No. 330/2010, also known as the Umbrella Block Exemption Regulation) and the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (No. 461/2010) are particularly relevant for distribution law. In the worst case, disregarding the provisions of these agreements can lead to substantial fines.
The so-called hardcore restrictions require special attention. For example, in a franchise or authorized dealer system fixed or minimum prizes are always inadmissible. Exceptions may arise under certain circumstances in the case of temporary advertising campaigns.
Let me advise you on the antitrust possibilities and limits of your planned distribution agreements and cooperation agreements. Often it is only details that lie between an inadmissible anticompetitive agreement and an ingenious advertising campaign.
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