The National Competition Commission (“NCC”) has made public a report in which it carries out an in-depth analysis of the outcome of the coordination of competences of the NCC and Spain’s regional competition authorities.
The Spanish competition system is decentralised. Autonomous regions can therefore create their own regional competition authorities whose scope of power is limited to their particular region.
In its report, the NCC observes that the five years since Competition Law 15/2007 of 3 July (“Law 15/2007”) entered into force have been characterised by a disparity in the levels of activity of the various regional authorities and by the close collaboration between the regional authorities and the NCC.
In fact, 62% of a total of 107 regional proceedings were initiated by just three authorities: Andalusia (26 cases), the Basque Country (23 cases) and Madrid (18 cases).
On the other hand, the collaborative mechanisms to determine the competent authority to hear a case have proven effective. Despite the NCC’s weight in the adoption of decisions on disputes, 82% of these cases have been assigned to regional authorities.
The results for dawn raids or unannounced inspections are mixed. The NCC has requested the assistance of regional authorities in 25 dawn raids, whilst only the Catalan regional authority has requested the NCC’s collaboration to carry out a dawn raid.
Finally, the report highlights that the NCC has intervened as an interested party and submitted observations in a total of 76 proceedings initiated by regional authorities. The NCC has also appealed decisions of regional authorities on two occasions. The first was against a decision of the Andalusian regional authority on the grounds of an incorrect interpretation of Article 1 of Law 15/2007, and the second was against a decision of the Madrid regional authority on the grounds of an incongruous misapplication and failure to give adequate reasons for applying Article 1 of Law 15/2007.