On 28 April 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority issued its policy priorities for the current year. This document, which has existed since 2014, aims to explain how the Authority selects its formal investigations and to describe its strategic and sectoral priorities of competition policy.

In line with the priority areas already identified in previous years, the Authority has announced that it will continue its actions in the following sectors:

  • the liberalized sectors and network industries, especially postal markets and telecommunications;
  • the distribution sector and its relations with suppliers;
  • the sector of the digital economy and the media;
  • services to enterprises and consumers; and
  • public procurement.

However, the banking sector, which was a priority area in 2015, is no longer included in the Authority’s 2016 priorities.

Given its reduced human resources, the Authority wants to focus on cartels that have significant undesirable effects on the market, whether raising prices, or reducing incentives for producers to innovate or for consumers to compare prices. Abuses of dominant position, which have been the focus of important decisions in the past, are no longer a priority for the Authority.