Andreas MUNDT (German Competition Authority): The Bundeskartellamt and the way ahead

1. Mr. Mundt, you were the first president of the Federal Cartel Office chosen from its ranks. Has that made your job easier?

2. One of the key changes in the application of competition law was the more economic approach. After first seeming to hesitate, the FCO now seems bent on underpinning its decisions with economic analysis. What has been the impact of the new Economic Issues Unit in practice?

3. DG Competition has made a good experience with peer review panels. Are you planning to emulate this model or is that impossible in a system in which three members of a division decide independently?

4. The German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) is currently under review. What would you change if it were only up to you?

5. Germany has long held on to the dominance test in merger control. Do you think it is time to adopt the SIEC test?

6. If the SIEC test is adopted, do you think it should be adopted lock, stock and barrel or could there be a more selective approach? For example, it would seem difficult to maintain the current approach to collective dominance and continue to treat the Airtours test as just one element of a much broader analysis.

7. The introduction of a second domestic turnover threshold in merger control has significantly reduced the number of filings. Are there cases that should have been screened that you no longer see? On the other hand, there are calls to increase the new threshold from 5 million Euro to something more substantial. Would that make sense?

8. Vice-president Almuñia has launched a debate on whether European merger control should be expanded to cover the acquisition of minority shareholdings. Germany has long had such a test for shareholdings of 25% or more and, even below this threshold, for the acquisition of “competitively significant influence” in another company. However, it is notoriously difficult to assess when the acquisition of a minority stake meets that test. Would you really recommend this model for Europe?

9. When will the draft merger control guidelines be available and what will be the key changes compared to the earlier guidelines?

10. Cartel enforcement is more and more driven by leniency applications. At the same time, private enforcement is on the rise, also in Germany. Aren’t you concerned that the latter could have a negative impact on the former? Potential leniency applicants might be deterred if the exposure to damage claims becomes too much, in particular if third parties get access to the corporate statements or to documents submitted with the applications.

11. Is the FCO’s practice regarding resale price maintenance still in line with the Commission’s practice and the Commission’s guidelines on vertical restraints?

12. What is your vision of the FCO ten years from now?

Interview conducted by Dirk Schroeder, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Cologne.

Since 2009 President of the German Federal Cartel Office 2005 Director of the General Policy Division 2001 Head of Unit International Competition Matters Rapporteur in the 4th Decision Division (card-based payment systems) 2000 Entry into the Bundeskartellamt Rapporteur in the 8th Decision Division (banking and financial services) 1993 Desk Officer for labour and social law in the parliamentary group of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) 1991 Entry into the Federal Ministry of Economics Mr. Mundt, you were the first president of the Federal Cartel Office chosen from its ranks. Has that made your job easier? That's correct, I joined the Bundeskartellamt back in 2000. Of course, my knowledge of the specifics of competition law and everyday work procedures in the authority, as well

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  • German Competition Authority (Bonn)
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)


Andreas Mundt, Dirk Schroeder, Andreas MUNDT (German Competition Authority): The Bundeskartellamt and the way ahead, September 2011, Concurrences Review N° 3-2011, Art. N° 37042, pp. 8-13

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