Deutschland und die Schweiz werden bei Wettbewerbsfragen enger zusammenarbeiten

© BMWK / Susanne Eriksson

Today, Germany signed an agreement with Switzerland on cooperation between competition authorities. In accordance with the agreement, Germany’s Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) and the Swiss Competition Commission will in future be able to efficiently enforce competition law in cross-border matters. The agreement thus contributes to better protecting competition in Germany and in Switzerland. (In Switzerland, the agreement remains to be endorsed by the Federal Assembly.)

Sven Giegold, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the Federal Republic of Germany, said: "The agreement makes the competition authorities stronger. In future, investigations carried out by cartel authorities no longer need to stop at borders. The Bundeskartellamt and the Swiss Competition Commission can now coordinate their investigations and share evidence which they have gained during their investigations. We have thus closed gaps regarding the cross-border enforcement of antitrust law. Consumers will also benefit from the new rules."

Helene Budliger Artieda, State Secretary of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, said: "Switzerland and Germany are good neighbours with close economic relations. In view of the economic links, it is essential that the competition authorities work together efficiently in the field of cross-border restraints of competition. The agreement which we have signed today will make this possible."

Until now, cooperation on competition matters between German and Swiss authorities had been informal. The agreement creates the framework for better cooperation between authorities, facilitating the effective enforcement of antitrust law. In future, it will be possible to coordinate parallel procedures and carry out joint analyses. It will also become easier to deliver communications and administrative orders. Furthermore, the competition authorities can in future exchange confidential information. Such exchange of information is subject to strict requirements in order to protect business secrets and personal data.