Competing Fairly

The text sums up basic information about fair and unfair competition, it also deals with legal requirements (institutions, acts, codes) and legal instruments against unfair competition.

Legal requirements

Unfair competition is subject to the Civil Code. Unfair competition can be committed by both entrepreneurs and entities (either physical or legal) who are not entrepreneurs, provided they participate in economic competition.

Unfair competition is represented by actions that are at variance with good morals and are capable of damaging other competitors and consumers. The Civil Code lists examples of unfair competition actions: misleading advertising, misrepresentation of goods and services, creating the danger of confusing goods or services, abusing the reputation of a company, products or services of another competitor, bribery, detraction, comparative advertising, violation of a trade secret and jeopardising the health of consumers and the environment.

Economic competition

Economic competition is the subject of Act No. 143/2001 Coll. on Protection of Competition, as amended. Protection is provided against exclusion, limitation, or other violation of economic competition demonstrated in the following forms: Agreements violating economic competition, abuse of the dominant position of the competitors or mergers of competitors.

A person whose rights were jeopardised or violated due to unfair competition may file a suit against the violator, whereby he/she can claim one or several protective measures listed above. Together with the suit, a proposal for precautionary measures may also be filed, so that the effects of the objectionable situation are prevented as soon as possible.

Protection against violators of economic competition

Office for the Protection of Competition is active in the area, creating conditions for the development of economic competition. The office also oversees public procurement and, together with the European Commission, monitors provision of public support.

In compliance with Article 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, companies that have reached a dominant position on the market may not abuse such status to the detriment of other competitors or consumers. Mergers of competitors that would lead to creating or strengthening of their dominant status on the market, is forbidden.

Administrative procedures

Legal instruments of protection against unfair competition

Persons affected by unfair competition actions may claim the following: Refrain from unfair competition, remedy of the objectionable status, reasonable satisfaction, damages, surrender of unfounded enrichment, as well as the right to publish the judgment at the cost of the losing party to the litigation.

Resources

The following governmental and non-governmental institutions and web portals offer further information and useful services in the area of protection of competition.

Personalised help and advice

The Enterprise Europe Network is an extensive network (with 600 host organisations and 4 000 full-time staff) providing information and advice to entrepreneurs through its local partners.

Document created in co-operation between Your Europe - Business (EU portal for companies) and BusinessInfo.cz.