Competition Act to be amended
The aim is to reinforce the means of controlling competition restrictions and competition neutrality. The regulations on the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s mandate, procedures and access to information will also be defined in more detail.
The Finnish Competition Act will be amended as of 17 June 2019. The key amendments concern inspections carried out by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), the FCCA’s right to obtain information, and the exchange of information between authorities. For instance, the inspection provisions will be amended to allow the FCCA to conduct searches in temporary copies of inspection data in its own premises instead of the inspected company’s premises.
In addition, the competition neutrality provisions will be supplemented with a requirement for public operators to maintain separate accounts of the economic activities they undertake.
The provision on maintaining separate accounts stipulates that municipalities, joint municipal authorities, the state or any entities under their control that engage in economic activities in a competitive situation must maintain separate accounts on the activities. This facilitates the control of market-based pricing also in situations where a public entity has corporatised both economic activities and other activities in a single company.
Two other acts will also be amended to allow the FCCA to obtain obligation compliance reports from the Grey Economy Information Unit and tax data from the Tax Administration to monitor certain restrictions on competition.
The aim of these amendments is to safeguard a competitive market and secure framework conditions for business activities.
The President of the Republic approved the acts on 7 June 2019, on the proposal of the Government. The amendments will enter into force on 17 June. The provision on the accounting separation obligation will applied as of 1 January 2020.
Virve Haapajärvi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 027