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The Focal Points of Competition Authority Activity

Balázs Timár
Auditor, State Audit Office of Hungary

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2014/1 (p. 47-64.)

Summary: The present study seeks to uncover what the reason was for the downturn in competition authority activity as observed in the past decade, and whether the drop in the number of competition authority cases had any significant impact on competition in domestic markets. The study was based primarily on data taken from reports prepared annually, from 2002 until 2012, by the Hungarian Competition Authority for the National Assembly, and relied greatly on the study on the same subject prepared in October 2013 by associates of the State Audit Office of Hungary. Starting from the halfway point of the past decade, the figures related to the operation of the Competition Authority showed a continuous drop in volume of the aforementioned activity with respect to both competition supervision and competition advocacy. The only signs of increase were observed in connection with the activity aimed at developing competition culture and the culture of consumer decision-making. Based on my research, I came to the conclusion that this decrease can be primarily traced back to the low level of synergy effects between certain ‘activity pillars’ of the Competition Authority, the changing of regulations by the State, and the re-assigning of competition authority powers to sectoral authorities in the sectors most at risk from abuse of economic dominance.

Keywords: competition authority, protection of competition, competition advocacy, sectoral inquiry, cartel

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) kód: D41, D42, D43, K21, K42

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