The coronavirus and the effort to slow its spread have affected our lives in various ways: our health of course, our social contacts, the economy, and also competition law. On 13 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority ("FCA") suspended its office hours. In recent days, the FCA has been working on the technical possibilities for electronic merger filings. Meanwhile, the legislator has also been active and the 2nd COVID-19 Act provides for prolonged review periods in merger control.
On the European level, competition authorities agreed on a joint approach to competition law enforcement during the pandemic and issued a statement in that regard. Finally, the European Commission has introduced a temporary framework for COVID-19-related State aid. It should help Member States to provide aid wherever needed to support businesses during the crisis.
In order to learn more about the essential changes and developments, please open the attached file.