Today the German government revealed its refined proposal for an amendment to the German antitrust statute.
Key points include:
- Giving consumer associations the right to file actions aimed at scooping off cartel profits
- Extending the applicability of German antitrust law to pubic health insurance funds
- Renewing the sector-specific pricing rules for (dominant) suppliers of electricity and gas
- Refining the rules on dominance and the protection of small and medium-sized companies
The bill does not provide for an introduction of collective actions, nor does it include a provision that would exempt leniency applications from third-party access – the later point having been addressed in a recent court ruling, which obliges the German antitrust agency to grant third-party claimants access to non-confidential versions of fining decisions and seized documents, but not leniency submissions.
The bill is expected to pass through the legislative process over the next few months. The full text is available (in German) at http://www.bmwi.de.