Legal Update | Government Proposes Amendments to the Finnish Competition Act
The amendments proposed on 24 May 2018 will give the Finnish competition authority further powers and adjust merger control review periods.
Once enacted, the following key changes will apply:
- Finnish merger control deadlines will be calculated in working days instead of calendar days, which may slightly extend review periods. The maximum review period for Phase I investigations will be changed from one calendar month to 23 working days. Possible Phase II investigations must be carried out in an additional 69 working days instead of three calendar months.
- The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the “FCCA”) may continue the dawn raid inspection of electronic information at the FCCA’s premises. The continued inspection at the FCCA’s premises will only concern working copies of the information gathered during the inspection at the company’s premises.
- The FCCA’s powers to inspect mobile devices will be affirmed. Under the new legislation, it is specified that the FCCA may inspect data regardless of how the information is stored.
- The FCCA will have wider discretion to decide which cases it prioritises. The FCCA may, for example, choose not to investigate matters when the suspected violation is unlikely to significantly affect competitive conditions.
- The FCCA’s right to obtain information particularly from public entities will be broadened. The FCCA’s powers to share information with other authorities will also be increased.
- In order to maintain competitive neutrality, public entities will be required to keep separate accounts of their economic activities, provided that the annual turnover of such activities exceeds EUR 40,000.
The proposed amendments are expected to enter into force as soon as possible. Further changes to the FCCA’s investigative powers are expected, once the proposed EU directive aimed at improving the enforcement powers of national competition authorities has been adopted.
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