According to Article 19, Pargraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria: „Economy is based on free economic initiative“. Article 1 of the Protection of Competition Act (PCA) reads that „The PCA aims to provide protection and conditions for expanding of competition and free initiative in the economic activity“. Most generally said, the PCA aims to terminate and suspend unfair commercial practices which might, in some way, violate the principles of competition. Protection against agreements, monopolies, abuse of stronger positions during negotiation and others have been regulated. The control over the concentrations of enterprises has been regulated. The state authority controlling this branch is the Commission for Protection of Competition.
The matter is quite extensive to allow for coverage of all hypotheses of the field; therefore, we shall focus on the most topical issues
- Monopoly – a structure operating strictly on a given market categorised as the only seller, without the option for alternative produce. The word comes from Greek and means „selling alone“. Under the conditions of free competition, such practices are absolutely forbidden. The only exceptions are reserved for State monopolies in certain branches, namely: railway transport, national postal and long-range communication networks, the use of nuclear energy, the production of radioactive products, weapons, explosives and substances with strong biological action, whereas this is provided for in the Constitution.
- Dominant position – an enterprise which, in view of its market share, financial resources, market access possibilities, technological level and economic relations with other enterprises may prevent the competition on the relevant market, since it is independent on its competitors, providers or buyers.
- Prohibitions for unfair competition – here, different hypotheses are envisaged where the interests of the competitors may be harmed, such as disclosure of incorrect circumstances, unfair attraction of customers, leading into delusion, deluding and comparative advertising, imitation and more.
Procedures are instituted by a decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition itself, by a demand of the Prosecutor, by initiative of the persons whose interests have been affected or jeopardized or under other hypotheses envisaged by law. Where a violation is established, the Commission imposes property sanctions amounting up to 10 percent of the total turnover for the previous financial year. Natural persons may be imposed a fine between BGN 500 and BGN 50 000. The decisions of the Commission may be appealed under the terms of the Administrative Procedure Code before the Supreme Administrative Court.
Regarding Competition Law “Ivanchov & Partners” offer the following:
- Opinions regarding Competition Law;
- Preparation of Requests for establishment of unfair competition before the Commission for Protection of Competition for conducted offences;
- Preparation of answers under filed Requests for establishment of unfair competition ;
- Communication with the Commission for Protection of Competition on arisen issues;
- Procedural representation and appealing of decisions of the Commission for Protection of Competition before the Supreme Administrative Court.