The Czech Competition Authority (CCA) recently published an information paper on dawn raids during its annual competition law conference. The paper aims to provide guidance explaining the powers and privileges of CCA officials in the course of a dawn raid and a brief overview of the case law relating to dawn raids, focusing on judicial review of the legality of dawn raids carried out after the European Court of Human Rights' judgment in Delta Pekárny.
With the introduction of the Damages Act, the Czech Republic has finally implemented the EU Damages Directive, which establishes common EU rights for cartel victims seeking damages. The Damages Act introduces many novelties into national law, which aim to improve the procedural status of citizens and businesses that claim compensation before the national courts for damages caused by an infringement of EU or national antitrust rules.
The Office for the Protection of Competition recently fined Czech mobile operators Vodafone Czech Republic as and O2 Czech Republic as a total of Kr99 million after it deemed an agreement on an exclusive, direct interconnection between the two operators included in a 2001 interconnection agreement to be anti-competitive. Another case in the telecoms sector which was originally initiated by the office is now under the jurisdiction of the European Commission.
While the 2016 amendment to the Significant Market Power Act sought to remove and clarify ambiguous provisions within the act and generally provide greater protection to suppliers, several provisions remained vague and were thus open to interpretation. As such, the Office for the Protection of Competition recently issued an information letter to clarify and explain the changes introduced by the amendment.
The Prague Municipal Court recently dismissed the private damages action brought by private railway passenger carrier LEO Express against publicly owned national incumbent Czech Railways due to a lack of evidence. Although the judgment is not publicly available, the available information already raises the question of whether it might shed a negative light on the future of private enforcement of competition law in the Czech Republic.
Under Czech law, a parent company, controlling entity or influential entity may be liable for the obligations of a bankrupt corporation under its control. Respective controlling entities' liability is a frequently discussed issue and closely related to the common law doctrine known as 'piercing the corporate veil'. The judiciary and legal academic community are torn when it comes to applying particular provisions of the Corporations Act in such situations.
Frivolous insolvency petitions are typically observed in sectors which are built on repeat long-term relationships. These petitions aim to discredit and damage competitors' reputations in a particular market. In response to the rising trend of filing frivolous insolvency petitions, the Supreme Court and the legislature have taken steps to protect alleged debtors that are wrongly accused and stigmatised by others as being insolvent.