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17 - Competition Law Sanctions in Austria

from Part II - Country Reports

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2022

Tihamer Tóth
Affiliation:
Pázmány Peter Catholic University (Budapest, Hungary)
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Summary

Breaches of competition law may incur severe sanctions in Austria. Besides heavy administrative fines and nullity of contracts contravening competition law, antitrust infringers must expect private damage action claims from customers or suppliers harmed by antitrust violation. However, only very few final decisions have been rendered in Austria’s private antitrust litigation so far. Under Austrian criminal law, cartel collusion in tendering procedures may qualify as fraud or bid-rigging. Criminal convictions may in turn lead to the withdrawal of trade licences and pose a risk for the company of being 'blacklisted' – at least temporarily – in public procurement procedures. Under exceptional circumstances, dissolution of the company may be ordered if a director has committed an offence in the course of the company’s business activities; the latter possibility only applies to limited liability companies. Under Austrian company law, a director is liable to reimburse all damages caused by not applying the standard care diligence of a prudent business manager, including the compensation of damages incurred through infringements of competition law. This liability exists towards both the company and business partners.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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