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Press Conference of the Commission for the Protection of Competition
31/01/2003

The Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C) held a press conference on 31/01/2003 during which, the results of its activities during 2002, were presented.

In its introductory speech, the Chairman of the C.P.C, Mr Christodoulos Tselepos, explained the areas of activity of the C.P.C and noted the huge increase in the number of cases investigated by the C.P.C during 2002. It was also stated that the number of decisions and fines imposed by the C.P.C during 2002, outnumbered the total number of decisions and fines imposed by the C.P.C during its 12 year life.

The C.P.C also played an important role in the harmonization process with the acquis communautaire and the other requirements of the EU, which ultimately led to the closing of the competition chapter in June 2002.

The ability of the C.P.C to respond positively, within a limited amount of time, to all EU demands, was a matter which the European Commission made a specific reference to in its appraisal of the various candidate countries in 2002.

Towards the end of 2002, the C.P.C completed the first wave of recruitment of permanent officials by appointing 5 permanent officials, thus doubling the total number of its personnel.

In May 2002, the C.P.C joined the International Competition Network - an international body for competition law - the members of which comprise all the national competition authorities across the globe, including the EU.

During the press conference, the C.P.C launched its “Immunity from fines and reduction of fines Programme” which will be effective as from 01/02/03. The aim of this Programme is to assist the detection and combating of unlawful cartels. This Programme details the approach of the C.P.C to the granting of immunity from any fine or reduction of a fine, that would otherwise have been imposed to an undertaking - member of a cartel, that violates the law, but nevertheless comes forward and volunteers information to the C.P.C which leads to the finding of an infringement and to the imposition of fines to the rest of the undertaking comprising the cartel.

As a means of raising competition awareness in the Cypriot society, the C.P.C organised various competition seminars in 2002, during which the legal and business circles of Cyprus were invited. In addition to the above, the C.P.C and its Service, acted pro-actively by issuing various communication style decisions, alerting various undertakings and professional associations of their violations of the law and asking them to bring these violations to an end.

At the end of the press conference, the C.P.C made a brief presentation of its website, which will assist in the communication of the public with the C.P.C as well as in the awareness of the public on issues relating to competition law. The website of the C.P.C may be found at the following address:

http://www.competition.gov.cy .








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