Tougher competition law enforcement regime in Belgium — new Belgian competition law enters into force

On 1 September 2013, a new Belgian Competition Act entered into force. The new rules introduce significant procedural changes ,which are likely to lead to more efficient enforcement of competition law in Belgium.

The Belgian Competition Authority has been simplified to form a single administrative authority with both an investigative and decision-making arm. Under the old Competition Act, investigations were led by the competition prosecutors. This was the case for investigations into possible antitrust infringements and also for notified transactions, at least if they did not follow the simplified procedure. At the conclusion of their investigation, the competition prosecutors prepared a report for an administrative tribunal (the Competition Council), which decided on the existence of (and fines for) antitrust infringements or the approval of a transaction.

The Competition Council has now been abolished and proceedings will take place as follows…

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