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Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch appointed as Director General for Competition

On 8 November 2023, Dr Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch LL.M. was officially inaugurated by Federal Minister of Labour and Economy, Dr Martin Kocher. Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch was appointed as Director General for Competition of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Government; the appointment is for a five-year term of office with effect from 1st November, 2023.

Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch has worked at the AFCA since 2009, holding several key positions over the past 14 years. Before becoming Director General, she also headed the legal department and was the Authority’s Managing Director. Since December 2021, she has been interim Director General while simultaneously performing as Managing Director.

According to GCR’s Rating Enforcement 2023, Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch is “a perfect fit for the role”. Global Competition Review provides annual analysis of the performance, personnel and administrative resources of competition authorities around the world.

“I am encouraged by the Federal Government’s decision and my appointment by the Federal President to continue with my work to ensure we have an observant, effective and independent competition authority. I would like to wholeheartedly thank my team at the AFCA, who will continue to carry out their work with dedication and commitment,” stated Director General Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch.

“Effective competition is one of the cornerstones of a successful business location. The Federal Competition Authority is working tirelessly to ensure that this is achieved. And with a markedly greater budget and additional staff, the AFCA will be even more powerful in future. I would like to congratulate Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch on her new role as Director General for Competition, and I wish her continued success,said Martin Kocher, Federal Minister of Labour and Economy.

The new Director General summed up the current challenges, “Markets need to remain open so that competition can work properly in the interests of consumers. To achieve this, we, the competition authority, must take resolute action against any market concentration tendencies through merger control and we must vigorously pursue artificial barriers such as cartels or market abuse. At the same time, recognising structural competition risks is crucial, which we particularly track through our sector inquiries. Effective competition benefits customers and consumers, while also ensuring that Austrian businesses remain successful on the international stage.”