Duties of the Austrian Competition Authority

The tasks of BWB arise out of both national law (mainly competition and antitrust law) and European competition law.

For more information on the work of a case handler, view this Videoclip (in German) made for a vocational counselling session for young people.

To investigate and combat presumed or alleged distortions or restrictions of competition, BWB is assigned the following tasks:

  • Act as a party in procedures before the Cartel Court and the Supreme Cartel Court,
  • Apply European competition rules in Austria,
  • Conduct general investigations if there are substantial grounds for assuming distortions or restrictions of competition,
  • Provide assistance to the Cartel Court, the Supreme Cartel Court, courts and administrative authorities including regulatory authorities and the Federal Cartel Prosecutor,
  • Cooperate and exchange information with the above-mentioned courts and authorities, the European Commission and other national competition authorities,
  • Give opinions on economic policy issues ('competition advocacy') and legislative proposals in competition law,
  • Application in accordance to the Local Supply Act.

In order to effectively ensure the accomplishment of its tasks, BWB has the following powers:

  • Request information from companies and associations of companies,
  • Access to business documents and records including the right to make copies and/or transcripts,
  • Carry out searches of business premises (after a warrant has been issued by the President of the Chamber of the Cartel Court) – if necessary with the help of public security officers – if there are substantial grounds for assuming severe violations of Antitrust Law or Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and to support the European Commission and Competition Authorities of the other EU Member States in their investigations,

Sections 6 et seq. of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation Act (ORF-Gesetz) attributes the following powers to BWB:

  • Act as a party in order to safeguard competition
  • File a complaint against a decision of the regulatory authority with the Austrian Administrative Court

BWB must also be notified about proposed mergers.