Brussels, 21 March 2022
The European Commission, the EU national competition authorities as well as the EFTA Surveillance Authority (‘European Competition Network’ or ‘ECN’) have published today a joint statement on the application of competition law in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In its statement, the ECN acknowledges that the current crisis conditions may trigger the need for companies to address severe disruptions caused by the impact of the war and/or of sanctions in the single market.
This may include for example cooperation in order to:
(i) ensure the purchase, supply and fair distribution of scarce products and inputs; or
(ii) mitigate severe economic consequences including those arising from compliance with sanctions imposed by the EU.
This type of cooperation would likely either not amount to a restriction of competition or generate efficiencies that would most likely outweigh any such restriction.
In this context, the ECN stated that it will not actively intervene against strictly necessary and temporary initiatives specifically targeted at avoiding the severe disruptions caused by the impact of the war and/or of sanctions in the single market.
Companies can reach out to the members of the ECN any time for informal guidance about the compatibility of their initiatives with EU/European Economic Area competition law.
At the same time, the ECN will not hesitate to take action against companies taking advantage of the current situation by entering into cartels or abusing their dominant position.
For more information, please see Commission’s website here.
You can also read and download the ECA statement below:202203_joint-statement_ecn_ukraine-war