Introduction to the Albanian Competition Law: Allowing the Market to Self- Regulate

Ideally, the market is regulated due to the harmonization of the law of supply and the law of demand. However, monopolistic structures tend (not infrequently) to affect the fair, equal and efficient market.

Public-economic policies aim to lessen this absence of competition by adopting new rules, laws and bylaws. In Albania, the legislator has followed the same practice in order to provide a free and effective competition in the market. Thereupon, the Law no. 10, 317 dated 19.09.2010On the Protection of Competition amended the Law no. 9121 dated 28.07.2003 “On the Protection of Competition”.

The amendments provide new legal provisions on mergers and acquisitions as a behavior of companies aiming to dominate the market in a legal way. Another form of exercising unfair dominance is by agreeing on among-them terms. 

The law defines rules of conduct and responsibility for:

  • The Competition Authority
  • All the enterprises that exercise economic activity in the market, and
  • Any public administrative body.

Violation of the Free Competition in the Market

One or more than one company may hinder the competition in the market if they operate independently, without being influenced by the economic laws of supply and demand. Thus jeopardizing the interests of competitors, customers or consumers.

The Law prohibits:

  • Any agreed agreement or practice between two or more enterprises
  • Decisions or recommendations of groupings of enterprises

These agreements may have as a primary intention or just as a consequence the obstruction, the restriction, or the distortion of competition in the market.

Regardless of their form – written or not – the law prohibits agreements that:

  • Affect the prices of purchases or sales
  • Control the production, markets, the technical development or investment
  • Affect the sharing of markets or sources of supply
  • Apply different conditions to the same transactions
  • Determine conditions to the conclusion of contracts by charging additional obligations.

An enterprise might be established by a natural or legal person, private or public. The only requirement for the law to find application to their activity is the latter’s economic nature.

Central and local governmental bodies, public entities or institutions – are considered enterprises by the law as well – if they carry out economic activity.

Enterprises – in order to protect their best interests – can be also organized into groupings of enterprises. Regardless of the form as a legal entity, private or public, the purpose of this organization may not always be of a profitable nature, but to protect the interests of its members.

In any case, the responsible institution for the law enforcement is the Competition Authority. It exercises its decision-making through the Commission of Competition. This Commission may start a preliminary investigation or in-depth investigation if the price stickiness or any other reasonable circumstance –  are making the competition in the market limited or distorted.

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