9 July 2014

A competitive order for the financial markets

XXth Main Report of the Monopolies Commission
Under § 44(1) ARC

- 2012/2013 -


The Monopolies Commission has submitted its XXth Main Report (Biennial Report) to the Federal Minister of the Economy and Energy. The Report is entitled: "A competitive order for the financial markets".

The Report is composed of one chapter in which current issues of competition policy are being discussed in short form, three chapters on the development of enterprise concentration and evaluating the competition authorities' decision practice, as well as two further chapters in which the Monopolies Commission assesses subjects of competition policy which it considers important in more detail. In this Main Report, the assessment relates to the issue of the ‚Äěremunicipalisation" (Rekommunalisierung) of economic activities, and the competitive order of the financial markets. The latter subject also defined the title of the Main Report, as the distortions on the banking sector are of current and, at the same time, paramount importance.

  • In Chapter I, the Monopolies Commission conducts a first analysis of issues in the Internet economy, which are located at the interception of competition, data protection, and intellectual property law. In addition, the Monopolies Commission evaluates the planned reform of the Renewable Engergies Law (Erneuerbare Energien-Gesetz). Further, the Monopolies Commission analyses various options for the tightening of the sanctioning system in competition law. The Monopolies Commission also assesses the competition problems on the German taxi markets and in child and youth welfare services. Finally, the Monopolies Commission addresses problems in the practical application of its right to access the files of the Federal Cartel Office.
  • Chapter II of the Main Report updates the analysis of the concentration and interdependence of large enterprises (aggregated concentration) based on the creation of value by the largest German combines or the largest domestic group divisions. In Chapter III, the Monopolies Commission continues the assessment of both the development and the effects of personal interlockings between listed companies in the so-called EU-15 Member States (plus Norway and Switzerland), which it had started in the XVIIIth Main Report. In addition, it analyses the capital-based interdependence in the relevant states for the first time.
  • In Chapter IV, the Monopolies Commission evaluates the competition law practice of the authorities and the courts in the reporting period. The assessment relates primarily to German competition law and the application of the cartel prohibition, the provisions on the abuse of a dominant position, and merger control law. Apart from that, emphasis is placed on the decision practice in European merger control.
  • Chapter V deals with the issue of municipal economic activities and the observable trend towards remunicipalisation. In many regions and in numerous economic sectors, municipalities show an effort to enlarge their economic activities. Against this background, the Monopolies Commission analyses the economic effects of municipal activities and whether there is a need for regulative action.
  • In Chapter VI, the Monopolies Commission assesses the competitive situation on the financial markets. In that context, the leading topic consists of systemic competition distortions to the advantage of banks and shadow banks, which ensue from implicit state guarantees; competition distortions to the advantage of individual banking groups within the German three-pillar structure, and current competition issues on the level of financial products and transactions.