Competition Authority classified as ‘Good’ by the Global Competition Review (GCR)

The international evaluation of the performance of competition authorities in 2010, carried out by the Global Competition Review (GCR), has classified the Competition Authority (CA) as “Good” and awarded it a three-star rating, as in the previous year. In addition, it assessed its overall activity as “consistent”.

The GCR is a specialist journal that evaluates the performance of competition authorities worldwide in annual reports. These are based on information provided by the bodies evaluated and the opinions of external competition-related observers.

In the assessment for this year, the Competition Authority is once again on a level with other similar authorities in the European Union, such as those of Austria, Finland, Hungary and Sweden. The Norwegian and Swiss authorities are also included in this category.

The GCR praised the CA’s work in the area of the control of mergers between undertakings, considering it “excellent” and “high quality”. It stressed the quality achieved in this field, recalling that the CA’s performance in merger control was awarded 4th place among 71 counterparts in the Global Merger Control Index (GMCI), which is drawn up annually by the Centre for European Law and Economics. The GCR also points out the reduction in maximum decision-making times for the merger control that the CA undertook in 2010.

The GCR considers that the CA’s performance in 2010 in the field of combating anti-competitive practices did not achieve the same level of performance. This was largely due to the fact that the Competition Authority had to concentrate its efforts on concluding cases pending (for three years or more) which had accumulated since its establishment in 2003 – one of the current Competition Authority Council’s goals. This was attained at the end of 2010. It is worth noting that the investigations initiated since 2008 have seen their time-limits systematically reduced.

The progress achieved hitherto, in combination with the future review of the Competition Law, in accordance with the guidelines agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Portugal and the European Commission, the European Central bank and the International Monetary Fund will greatly help to improve the conditions under which the Competition Authority has to act, in particular in the fight against prohibited practices in the field of competition.

Lisbon, 29 June 2011