Box A.5.1.1. The EBRD’s annual survey of competition authorities
The EBRD carries out an annual survey looking at competition policy and its enforcement in countries where the Bank works. That survey allows a better understanding of the policy framework in which companies operate, focusing on both the legal basis (that is to say, applicable competition law) and the actual enforcement activities of national competition authorities.
From an institutional perspective, the survey focuses on the following:
- whether competition law incorporates objectives that go beyond (and potentially conflict with) safeguarding
- competition and whether certain industries are exempt from the enforcement of competition law
- competition authorities’ power to conduct investigations (including the power to conduct unannounced dawn raids on business premises) and the existence of clear judicial procedures for the exercising of such powers
- the extent to which competition authorities are legally independent of government
- the existence of an appeal system.
From an enforcement perspective, the information collected is used to measure the quantity and quality of the resources available to the competition authority, as well as the extent and quality of the authority’s enforcement activities. In particular, the following elements are analysed:
- the number of cases that are investigated and ruled on by the national competition authority (including mergers, cartels and abuse of dominant positions)
- the level of the fines that are actually imposed on firms as a result of the competition authority’s investigations
- the quantity and quality of the resources available to the competition authority (including its budget, staff numbers and composition).
The survey provides a clear picture of the main changes to the legislative framework, as well as describing new developments in terms of the authorities’ activities. The survey results are complemented by in-depth desktop research, with the two combining to produce a final transition score for each country’s policy regime.