Partnering international businesses in Greece
Greek Competition Law falls under the provisions of law no. 703/1977 «on the control of monopolies and oligopolies and the protection of free trade», which is compatible with the regulations with the Treaty on the European Union. This law covers the following: agreements, the abuse of a dominant position and the merging of companies.
Article 1 of law 703/1977 prohibits all agreements between companies, trade unions and any merger practice of businesses, which prevent, restrict or distort competition. Such instances include the following:
Acts covered by the above circumstances can be deemed to be entirely or partially valid, provided:
Law no. 703/1977 also prohibits the abuse of a company in a dominant position.This happens mainly:
Although prohibited agreements and concentration may overlap in practice, the law clearly distinguishes between the two, stipulating that the concentrating of companies is not considered illegal unless certain criteria are established.
According to law no. 703/1977 merging occurs:
The creation of a joint venture which performs all the functions of an autonomous economic entity on a permanent basis is deemed to amount to a concentration under law no. 703/1977.
Each and every concentrating of companies must be made known within a month of its creation to the Competition Commission provided
On the other hand, law no. 703/1977 provides for the prior notification of a concentration. Specifically, every concentration must be made know to the Competition Commission within 10 working days from the conclusion of the agreement or the publication of the offer, exchange or acceptance of participation, which secures the control of the business, when the combined aggregate worldwide turnover of all participating undertakings is at least equal to the amount of 150.000.000 Euros, and each of at least two participating undertakings has an aggregated turnover of at least 15.000.000 Euros in Greece.
With notification cases, the “market share” is· the aggregate market share of all the participating businesses in the national market or in the segment of the concentration in question. The aggregate turnover includes the amounts· from the sale of products and the provision of services from the businesses in question in the national or global market, during the most recent financial use and are equivalent to their usual activities after the sale discounts, V.A.T. and other taxes relevant to the trade are removed.
The Competition Commission has the authority to decide whether a concentration is covered by the prohibitive provisions and thus, it can prohibit the above activities by threatening to impose a high penalty on the concentration in question. If the Commission deems the concentration does not cause serious doubts as to its ability to significantly restrict the competition within the markets concerned, the Commission then passes a decision approving the merger in question.