This site contains information about the functions and procedures of the Monopolies Commission, including details of what we investigate and how we conduct inquiries.
The basic law of our work is the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (Link to the Federal Cartel Authority):
(1) Every two years, the Monopolies Commission [Monopolkommission] shall
prepare an opinion assessing the situation and the foreseeable development
of business concentration in the Federal Republic of Germany, evaluating the
application of the provisions concerning the control of concentrations, and
commenting on other topical issues of competition policy. The opinion should
cover the situation in the last two full calendar years and be completed by
June 30 of the following year. The Federal Government may instruct the
Monopolies Commission to prepare further opinions. Moreover, the
Monopolies Commission may deliver opinions at its discretion.
(2) The Monopolies Commission shall be bound only by the mandate established by this Act, and shall be independent in pursuing its activities. If a minority holds dissenting views when an opinion is drafted, it may express them in the opinion.
(3) The Monopolies Commission shall submit its opinions to the Federal Government. The Federal Government shall without delay submit opinions pursuant to paragraph 1 sentence 1 to the legislative bodies and present its views and comments within a reasonable period. The opinions shall be published by the Monopolies Commission. In the case of opinions pursuant to paragraph 1 sentence 1, this shall be done at the time at which they are submitted by the Federal Government to the legislative body.
(1) The Monopolies Commission shall consist of five members who shall have
special knowledge and experience in the fields of economics, business
administration, social policy, technology or commercial law. The Monopolies
Commission shall elect a chairman from among its members.
(2) The members of the Monopolies Commission shall be appointed for a term of four years by the Federal President on a proposal by the Federal Government. Re-appointments shall be permissible. The Federal Government shall hear the members of the Commission before nominating new members. The members are entitled to resign from office by giving notice to the Federal President. If a member leaves office prematurely, a new member shall be appointed for the former member's term of office.
(3) The members of the Monopolies Commission shall not be members of the government or any legislative body of the Federation or a Land, or of the public service of the Federation, a Land or any other legal person under public law, except as university lecturers or staff members of a scientific institution. Furthermore, they shall neither represent nor be bound by a permanent employment or service relationship to an industry association or an employers' or employees' organisation. Furthermore, they shall not have held such a position during the year preceding their appointment to the Monopolies Commission.
(1) Decisions of the Monopolies Commission shall require the agreement of
at least three members.
(2) The Monopolies Commission has rules of procedure and a secretariat. The function of the latter is to scientifically, administratively and technically support the Monopolies Commission.
(2a) As far as required for the proper fulfilment of its functions the Monopolies Commission shall be granted access to the files maintained by the cartel authority, including access to operating and business secrets and personal data.
(3) The members of the Monopolies Commission and the staff of the secretariat shall be obliged to keep secret the deliberations and the documents designated as confidential by the Monopolies Commission. The secrecy obligation shall relate also to information given to the Monopolies Commission and designated as confidential, or obtained pursuant to paragraph 2a.
(4) The members of the Monopolies Commission shall receive a lump-sum compensation and they shall be reimbursed for their travel expenses. These shall be determined by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour in agreement with the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The costs of the Monopolies Commission shall be borne by the Federal Republic.
Note: This excerpt is a non-official translation of the authentic German text - reference should also be made to the original German version: Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB).
For further information
Current and past reports of the Monopolies Commission: [Biennial Reports] and [Special Reports]
Current Members of the Monopolies Commission
Scientific, administrativ and technical staff of the Monopolies Commission
Contact and Address