Competition policy aims at sound and effective competition
The aim of competition policy is to create and maintain an environment in which enterprises have a level playing field and an opportunity to succeed through their expertise. The key objective of competition law and policy is to ensure sound and effective economic competition.
Effective economic competition entails that enterprises are free to enter the market and choose their own operating methods and means of competition. The aim is that effective competition will ultimately benefit customers and consumers, for example by resulting in greater choice and lower prices. Appropriate and up-to-date competition legislation and its efficient implementation help to ensure the functioning of the market.
In addition to effects that can be measured directly in money, the economic effectiveness of competition policy also creates a basis for a well-functioning market. A well-functioning market is essential for economic productivity and development, and it encourages companies to improve their activities and create new business solutions. This, in turn, is connected to promoting Finland’s competitiveness at the international level.
Comprehensive competition policy
The mission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is to implement a comprehensive competition policy. Competition legislation, State aid regulation, competition neutrality matters and public procurement provisions form a logical entity within the Ministry. Competition policy is also closely connected to consumer and internal market affairs.
Finland’s national competition policy is based on the Competition Act (948/2011). The substantive provisions of the Competition Act correspond to those included in Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
In the EU Commission, the responsibility for competition issues rests with the Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Competition. In Finland, the responsibility for drafting national competition legislation and Finnish opinions is entrusted to the Competition policy unit of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) is responsible for the practical implementation of competition control and for investigating individual restrictions on competition. The Market Court imposes penalty payments on those who breach the prohibitions laid down in the Competition Act and prohibits mergers and acquisitions upon the proposal of the FCCA. Its decisions can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court.
The website of DG Competition includes more detailed information on EU competition rules and the latest news about EU competition policy. Information on the content and the implementation of Finland’s national competition law is available on the FCCA website.
Further information: virve.haapajarvi(at)gov.fi and iiro.ihanamaki(at)gov.fi