FRANCHISING – COMMERCIAL AGENTS – DISTRIBUTORS – COMPETITION LAW IN GREECE

The applicable legislation in Greece is Law 3373/2005 (as supplement to L. 703/77) on free competition, which is transfer of the respective EU directives, and L. 146/1914 on unfair competition.

The Hellenic Competition Commission (CC) is assigned with the task of ensuring smooth market operation and due implementation of fair competition. The Commission operates as an independent authority and enjoys administrative and financial autonomy.
The Competition Commission is assigned with the implementation of L. 703/77 “On the Control of Monopolies and Oligopolies and Protection of Free Competition”.
In particular, the Competition Commission:

  • Identifies any collaborations between enterprises which are intended to or actually limit competition, in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 para. 1 of L. 703/77;
  • Exempts any collaborations which limit competition, yet have a positive financial effect, benefit the consumers, do not cancel out competition or bind excessively the collaborating enterprises, in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 para. 3 of L. 703/77;
  • Identifies any abusive behavior on part of enterprises having dominant position in the market, pursuant to Section 2 of L. 703/77;
  • Identifies the abuse by one or more enterprises of the financial dependency upon them of other companies being their customers or suppliers, even with regard to specific types of products or services, where the latter lack any other alternatives, in accordance with Section 2(a) of L. 703/77;
  • Carries out preliminary investigation on the impact that certain collaborations may have on competition, in accordance with Sections 4 – 4(f) of L. 703/77;
  • Imposes sanctions where violations of L. 703/77 are identified;
  • Takes security measures where a violation of Sections 1, 2, 2(a) and 5 of L. 703/77 is speculated;
  • Investigates, at the request of the Minister for Development or ipso jure, specific sectors of the Greek market, where it is identified that the conditions of effective competition are not met and may take, by means of a justified decision, any regulative measures required with regard to market restructuring and the creation of conditions of free competition;
  • Opines on any competition matters, at the request of the Minister for Development or any other competent Minister or any Chamber associations or industrial / commercial associations;
  • Implements the provisions of Articles 81 and 82 of the European Community Treaty;
  • Cooperates closely with the European Commission and the Competition Authorities of other EU member-states for due implementation of the Community competition law;
  • Monitors the enforcement of the decisions of the Competition Commission, the ministerial decisions and the court decisions rendered with regard to any appeals against the aforementioned decisions.

With regard to certain sectors, such as the telecommunications sector, the above powers and duties are assigned to other authorities, such as the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission.

COMMERCIAL AGENCY AND DISTRIBUTION CONTRACTS

These contracts are governed by P.D. 219/1991.

The law provides for clientele indemnification in case of contract termination.

FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS

According to certain court decisions, these agreements are also governed by the law regulating commercial agency contracts.