Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 May 2022
The chapter examines the anticompetitive effect of collective agreements and other concerted practices on labour markets and the application of competition law in Germany. First, the chapter analyses the historical development of the fundamental right of freedom of association as the basis for further considerations, because competition law priviledges are granted to regulations falling into the scope of protection of the freedom of association. The chapter considers disputes over the coverage of the scope of protection of the freedom of associations in various contexts. The controversies attendant on the balance of entrepreneurial freedom and freedom of association are described as they impact the discussion on the application of competition law. The chapter takes particular account of the relevant case-law of the German Courts. The main set of regulations of collective labour agreements which could come into conflict with competition law, namely those concerning the kind of benefit agreed on, the group of people favoured by the collective agreement, or the parties concluding the agreement are examined. Finally, the approach to protect self-employed workers by including them in collective agreements is discussed.