Situated in Helsinki, the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) operates under the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and is headed by Director General Juhani Jokinen (on a leave of absence 1.5.2012–30.4.2013, deputy Mr Timo Mattila). The FCA currently has a staff of 70.
The FCA protects sound and effective economic competition by intervening, where necessary, in restrictive practices, such as cartels and abuse of dominant position, violating the Act on Competition Restrictions (the Competition Act) and Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) forming the basis of competition policy. Competition restrictions are investigated both on the FCA’s own initiative and on the basis of complaints. Where necessary, the FCA makes proposals to the Market Court that it impose competition infringement fines on those in breach of the competition rules.
The FCA may order that the business undertaking terminate the unlawful conduct or decide that the commitments shall be binding on the business undertakings if these commitments are such that they may eliminate the restrictive nature of the conduct. The FCA may also oblige a business undertaking to deliver a product to another undertaking on similar conditions as offered by the same business undertaking to other undertakings in a similar position.
- It is also the FCA’s task to intervene in concentrations exceeding certain turnover thresholds, if the concentration may significantly impede effective competition in the Finnish markets or a substantial part thereof, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position. Where necessary, the FCA may attach conditions to the implementation of a concentration or propose that the Market Court ban the deal.
- The FCA promotes competition by participating as an expert member in the removal of the institutional impediments of competition and in the increase of competition particularly in highly regulated sectors. Initiatives, opinions, stake holder cooperation and participating in competition-related working groups set up in the different branches of the government are typical of this work. The main objective is to secure equal operating conditions (competition neutrality) for market actors and to ensure that new undertakings are able to enter the market.
- In addition to competition control and advocacy, the FCA also tends to the international tasks falling under its jurisdiction. The major international cooperation partners include the ECN network between the EU competition authorities and the competition authorities of other Nordic countries.
The FCA’s mission statement is to protect sound and effective economic competition and to increase economic efficiency in both private and public-sector activity.
The main challenge pertaining to the FCA’s societal impact is to secure well-functioning markets, which create preconditions for successful business and ensure that the benefits from the development of productivity will be passed on to the customers and consumers. At the same time, they create incentives for the development of new products and a better supply including more inexpensive prices.
The FCA seeks to rise to the challenge by focusing on the investigation of competition impediments and restraints which have major significance for the society. The strategic key areas of operations include the prevention of unreasonable abuse of market power and opening up the markets.
In the FCA’s vision, Finland is a market economy capable of regeneration in which competition serves the interests of consumers and businesses. The FCA itself wishes to be a credible social force and a valued workplace.
The FCA’s activities aim at increasing welfare in the society. The customers and consumers benefit from the well-functioning markets through increased choice, innovations and a better quality of products and a more inexpensive price thereof.
last modified 11/8/2012