Sascha Dethof September 15 2022 FCO annual report warns against anti-competitive behaviour regarding price increases and exploitation of supply bottlenecks Fieldfisher | Competition & Antitrust - Germany Sascha Dethof Competition & Antitrust The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) presented its Annual Report 2020/21 on 30 August 2022. In these reports, the authority summarises its activities retrospectively.In the area of cartel prosecution, the authority emphasised that more dawn raids and cartel proceedings can be expected as cartel prosecution was hampered by the covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the authority warned against taking advantage of the current times to participate in cartel agreements or the abuse of market power. Andreas Mundt, president of the FCO, commented:Russia's terrible war against Ukraine and its devastating consequences are accompanied by market uncertainty, scarce resources and price increases in many industries. Since early 2022, inflation has been putting high pressure on consumers. Companies must not use the crisis to increase their profits by violating competition law. We are therefore taking a very close look: We will take firm and consistent action against illegal agreements or abuse of market power.In its annual report, the FCO also focused on the digital economy. With the recently enacted section 19a of the Competition Act (GWB), the German legislature has given the FCO a new instrument to take action against the power of digital corporations. The FCO has already established a "paramount significance for competition across markets" under new section 19a(1) of the GWB for Alphabet/Google, Amazon and Meta/Facebook. A corresponding case against Apple is currently still ongoing. In addition, the FCO is investigating the question of whether certain practices of these companies must be prohibited because they impair competition or secure their position of power.For further information on this topic please contact Sascha Dethof at Fieldfisher (Germany) LLP by telephone (+49 211 950 749 0) or email ([email protected]). The Fieldfisher (Germany) LLP website can be accessed at www.fieldfisher.com.