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Business

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office

Germany’s anti-trust watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt, is supposed to ensure fair competition and prevent the establishment of monopolies.

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The house of deal makers and breakers in Bonn.

The President of the Bundeskartellamt, Dr. Ulf Böge heads the agency which has been a frequent feature in the financial news recently for blocking mergers and acquisitions in Germany.

The responsibility of the Federal Cartel Office covers all restraints of competition having an impact in Germany.

The Agency's decisions are taken in a proceedings similar to court proceedings by one of ten decision-making chambers in the agency, whose responsibilities are divided up by branches.

The Federal Cartel Office is an independent higher authority which is accountable to the Ministry of Economics.

Its main task is to apply the Act Against Restraints of Competition, which was enacted for the protection of competition and came into force on January 1, 1958. Since then it has been updated and amended six times.

The Act against Restraints of Competition contains the general antitrust provisions in German law.

Questions of competition regarding only one state are dealt with by the authorities of that state. Merger cases, however, fall into the exclusive competence of the Federal Cartel Office.

The competition watchdog consists of eleven departments and of a permanent staff of some 260 employees, of which about 120 are economists and attorneys.

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