The Swiss Parliament has decided to revise the Cartel Act (CartA) and the Federal Act against Unfair Competition (UCA): As an indirect counter-proposal, this revision implements the so-called Fair Price Initiative, which aims to enable the purchase of products outside of Switzerland at potentially more favorable purchasing conditions. The revision establishes various new behavioral obligations for "relatively powerful" companies, prohibits discrimination while procuring goods and services abroad and prohibits practices of so-called "geo-blocking". For companies in Switzerland and abroad, this results in significant additional competition law risks:
The new regulation is expected to come into force in the current year 2021 or at the beginning of 2022.
In summary, the behavioral obligations for both Swiss and foreign companies will become significantly stricter. Due to the need to interpret the new rules, initially, there will be considerable legal uncertainty. It is to be expected that the first leading cases of the Swiss Competition Commission and the courts will take time. Companies should already adapt their compliance measures to the new rules now, before they come into force, in order to proactively reduce the risks of administrative proceedings or civil litigation.
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