The Portuguese Psychologists Association offers commitments to the Portuguese Competition Authority

Press Release 18/2016
The Portuguese Psychologists Association offers commitments to the Portuguese Competition Authority
 
On 19 February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) opened proceedings against Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses (OPP) - The Portuguese Psychologists Association - for alleged infringements of the competition rules.
 
The investigation revealed that the norms 3.5 and 3.7 of the Deontological Code adopted by OPP, prevent psychologists from capturing clients from other professionals and treating clients who are already being treated by another psychologist for the same purpose.
 
PCA concluded that the norms 3.5 and 3.7 of the Deontological Code are likely to affect the functioning of the market, in particular, by restricting client´s freedom of choice and the Psychologist’s freedom to provide their services.
 
On 29 August 2016, OPP offered a set of commitments to meet the competition concerns expressed by the PCA.  According to these commitments, OPP will, inter alia, amend norms 3.5 and 3.7 of the Code, withdrawing the above mentioned prohibitions.
 
OPP also offered to publish a new version of the Deontological Code in its Website, highlighting the amendment of 3.5 and 3.7 norms of the Code, as well as, mailing a Circular Letter to phycologists, informing on the above mentioned amendment and its implementation.
 
According to Law No 19/2012, of 8 May, the Authority may accept the commitments offered by the undertakings at stake in the proceedings, when it considers that the commitments offered are likely to eliminate the negative effects of the investigated practices on competition.
 
OPP is obliged to comply with the set of commitments now offered to the Portuguese Competition Authority, under the Authority’s supervision.
 
The commitments offered by OPP are, as from today, subject to public consultation for a period of 20 working days.
 
The results of the public consultation will be published on the Authority’s official website.
 
14 september 2016