„Antitrust law“and „competition law“

Competition Law (commonly called advertising law) concerned the protection of anti-trust competitions. Therefore, “antitrust law” is considered part of the competition law. However, in practice, there are only isolated intersections between the two legal areas: in simple terms, antitrust law prevent cartels from individual advertising transactions between the market participants. In Germany, the Federal Cartel Office (together with the Land Competition Authorities) is responsible for the protection of competition.

Where is the antitrust law regulated?

The Act against Restrictions on Competition (GWB), or so-called Antitrust Law (Kartellgesetz in Germany) regulated the German anti-trust law: it came into force on the 1st January 1958 and has been revised six times since then, most recently by a comprehensive amendment in 1999. In addition to the German law, the European competition law is particularly important, and it is usually carried out by the European Commission – as competition authority at a European level-.

What belongs to antitrust law?

 The main aspects of today´s antitrust law are the enforcements of the ban on cartels, the implementations of the merger control and the exercise of abuse control over dominant companies. Since 1st January 1999, the protection of tenderers in the awarding of public contracts has been added.

Federal Cartel Office

The Federal Cartel Office has the power of prohibition of mergers, forbid abusive practices, issue new requirements and impose fines. Moreover, the antitrust law concede to the Federal Cartel Office, extensive investigative powers. The FCO website offers numerous additional information.

 Decisions of the Federal Cartel Office

The antitrust decisions of the Federal Cartel Office are taken following a judicial procedure made by the competent department, responsible in the particular branch.

What do we need in order to deal with your anti-trust matters?


Antitrust Law may concern three different aspects regarding ban on cartels, merger control and procurement law. All details have to be discussed and coordinated in individual cases because of the complexity and the strictest confidentiality.