GVH > Legal status of the GVH

The legal status of the GVH

The GVH is a state administrative authority, which is independent of the Government and reports only to Parliament. The President of the GVH is required to submit an annual report on the activities of the GVH to Parliament and upon request, the President presents the report to the competent Parliamentary Committee or gives expert advice in subjects related to competition. The GVH has no regional offices.

The GVH is headed by the President, whose work is assisted by two Vice Presidents. The President is nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President of the Republic for a period of six years. The two Vice Presidents are nominated by the President of the Authority to the Prime Minister who, in agreement with the nomination, submits the nomination to the President of the Republic. One of the Vice Presidents is the head (Chair) of the Competition Council, while the other directs and supervises the investigative sections.

The investigative sections are supervised by a Vice-President and organised by case types. These sections commence investigations and collect information that is needed for the Competition Council to arrive at a decision. To this end, the sections

  • closely follow the activities and the competition on the market;

  • based upon the complaints and informal complaints or their own initiation, decide whether to start investigations;

  • perform the investigative part of competition supervision proceedings;

  • by way of post-investigation, check the fulfilment of the obligations provided for by decisions.

Beyond these, the investigative sections give their opinion concerning all measures drafted, and legislation in conception or drafted that have a bearing on the responsibilities of the GVH. Further, the sections take part in other competition related advocacy activities and in the enhancement and dissemination of competition culture.

Out of the investigative sections, the Consumer Protection Section deals with complaints, informal complaints and conducts proceedings concerning unfair manipulation of consumer choice, while the secretly realized and most restrictive (e.g. price fixing and market sharing) cartels are detected by the Cartel Section . The Antitrust Section and the Merger Section are responsible for cases of all other types, including the supervision, under the provisions of the Trade Act, of market players with significant market power.

The work of the investigative sections is supported by other sections. The Competition Policy Section deals with economical, theoretical and methodological issues. The Legal Section provides legal support, while the International Section deals with questions related to EU law and EU and other international relations. In order to improve the economic analyses the chief economist provides theoretical and empirical support. The competition culture related tasks of the GVH are coordinated by the General Secretariat's Competition Culture Centre.

The resolutions on the substance of the cases and on the enforcement of the resolutions of the GVH are issued and published by the Competition Council. Furthermore, it assesses the legal remedies submitted against the injunctions made by the investigator in the course of the proceedings. The Chair of the Competition Council organises the activities of the Council, which makes the resolutions in a panel of three or five members. In the course of the competition supervision proceedings, the members of the Competition Council are subjected only to the law. Apart from their tasks mentioned above, the members of the Competition Council take part in the competition advocacy activities of the GVH and in the enhancement and dissemination of competition culture.