Slovakian Competition Law: A Practitioner’s Viewpoint

Zuzana Hnatova, Oct 30, 2012

The Slovak republic does not have a long tradition in competition regulation, a condition predominately caused by the communist history of the country. The first statutory act in the post-communism era protecting competition on the market was enacted in 1991 and was the first attempt to correct the market distorted by the former regime. Just a few years later, in 1994, a new act superseded the first one. Since the former Czechoslovakia had separated and two independent states-the Czech republic and the Slovak republic-were created in 1993, this new 1994 act was effective only for the Slovak republic.

The enactment of the new act was related, in particular, to the necessity of the harmonizing Slovak competition law with the acquis communoutaire, as the Slovak republic was trying to become a member of the European Union. In addition, the independence of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (“the AMO”) needed to be strengthened.

The third, and still effective, act on competition protection is Act No 136/2001 Coll., the Act on Protection of Competition, as amended (“the Act”). It became effective on May 1, 2002. Since then, it has been amended five times. These changes reflect, to a substantial degree, changes in EU law, in particular the enactment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of December 16, 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty and group exemptions from the prohibition of cartel agreements and merger regulation. In addition, the Act was adjusted after the switch to the euro currency in 2009.

In addition to the issuance of the Act, two decrees of the AMO have been issued. The Decree No. 269/2004 Coll., as amended, lays down details on the calculation of turnover and the Decree No. 204/2009 Coll. regulates details on the notification of mergers.

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