Popov & Partners: The amendment of Competition Protection Act (CPA) needs additional precision in order to ensure maximum level of protection from the relevant violations

Popov & Partners took part in the public discussions regarding the proposed amendment of Competition Protection Act (CPA).

Our “Regulation and protection of competition” Department, which includes experts that has work experience in the Commission on protection of Competition, analyzed the project and formed an opinion that the project aims at important positive effects, but in order to make it possible to affect in the best positive way the Bulgarian market, there is a need for changes in the legislation approach and in the precise wording of some of the texts.

Our experience shows that the cartels and abuses of dominant position are heavy violations of the competition, which very often lead to significant damages for the competitors. In the same time the specificities of these violations create obstacles for the effective compensation of the damages. That is why we appraise positively the amendments in CPA, which aim to guarantee real and full compensation from the violations and to ensure good procedure possibilities in this regards. The project also implements obligatory requirements of the European Union competition legislation. In the same time a big part of the proposed amendment shall be included in the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), not in the CPA. If they are in the CPC, where they systematically belong, this will create better opportunity for the effective neutralization of the consequences of the violations. Popov & Partners prepared recommendations for editing of some of the provisions and definitions in the proposed amendment and the point of these wordings is to make it possible for the dispute resolution of these matters to be non-contradictory and effective.

We have also put an accent to the violations of competition that are specific for the Bulgarian law: unfair competition and abuse of stronger bargaining position. Similar violations are not regulated on EU level and it is normal that the new EU directive has no provision concerning these violations. Nevertheless, we think that these violations also can result in significant damages. That is why in the standpoint we made proposals regarding the possibilities for including these violations in the strengthened protection, which will be ensured with the proposed legislation amendment. Popov & Partners has an opinion that this matter should be carefully discussed before the final adoption of the amendment.