Competition law is understood to be the legal rules which equalise, and protect, competition from restrictions and undesirable business practices. In Greece, as in Germany, a differentiation is made between competition and cartel law.
The unfair competition law prohibits anti-competitive business practices which violate moral standards. This is provided for by Law No. 146/1914, which provides a general clause for the prohibition of unfair competition. Companies may in fact compete in order to expand their customer base and to increase their profits, but this has its limits beyond which competition is not desired by the legislation. Competition law protects competition as an institution; the competitors, but also the consumers.
The main area of application is to protect the consumer from fraud because a consumer is often deprived of his freedom of choice and is therefore not able to freely assess, and select, the goods, or services offered.
The cartel law protects competition through restrictions which are imposed by the companies themselves. The basic principle is that competition between the companies is the desired situation on the market, and that often the companies try to restrict themselves through agreements, or unilateral practices. In these cases the law applies in order to prevent such practices and to restore legitimate competition to the market again. Greek cartel law is regulated in Law 3959/2011 which replaced the earlier Law No. 703/1977.
Within the framework of industrial property rights, Greek law has a law regarding the protection of copyright property (Greek copyright law: Law No. 2121/1993) as well as laws for the protection of national brands (Law No. 4072/2012) and patents (Law No. 1733/1987). Greece has also assumed various international agreements as well as European directives with regard to the protection of intellectual property and implemented them into national legislation while the European regulations like, for example, Regulation No. 207/2009 regarding the community trade mark is also valid in Greek law and is applied by the courts.