On June 3 2014 Andreas Mundt, the president of the Federal Cartel Office, addressed a function hosted by the Economic Council of the Christian Democratic Union on 'Modern competition policy: the key to competitiveness'. Mundt presented the Federal Cartel Office's role in applying and enforcing the Act Against Restraints of Competition and protecting competition in Germany.

Mundt outlined the areas in which the Federal Cartel Office will focus its future efforts. He explained how cartel authorities enforce the law on price-fixing practices, merger control and abuse. He illustrated his point with examples relating to potatoes, beer, sugar, lifts, television magazines, electricity grids, hospitals and round timber marketing.

Mundt clarified that under his leadership the Federal Cartel Office will do everything in its power to safeguard competition in Germany. He pledged to achieve this by not confining activities to national cases. He emphasised in the strongest terms that the Federal Cartel Office would not turn a blind eye to minor cases, to ensure that no one can afford to bask in a false sense of security. The Federal Cartel Office will therefore continue to take up minor cases from time to time.

He also highlighted the importance of the International Competition Network (ICN). Mundt, as chair of the ICN steering group, pointed out that one of his aims was to improve cooperation among competition authorities worldwide.

The resounding message was that once again, companies would be well advised to ensure strict compliance with competition law and to establish and maintain an effective compliance organisation.

In a subsequent question-and-answer session, Mundt gave detailed answers to questions from the floor, including a number of critical questions from industry guests.

For further information on this topic please contact Harald Kahlenberg or Peter Giese at CMS Hasche Sigle by telephone (+49 711 97 64 303), fax (+49 711 97 64 96 939) or email (harald.kahlenberg@cms-hs.com or peter.giese@cms-hs.com). The CMS Hasche Sigle website can be accessed at www.cms-hs.com.