ECONOMY

Bill increases the power of the competition watchdog

The Development Ministry, with the bill presented yesterday by Minister Costis Hatzidakis, is moving to increase the power of the Competition Commission. The bill expands the regulatory competence of the Competition Commission, as it waives the previous requirement for a ministerial decision to activate the regulatory decisions of the watchdog, which will be valid as soon as they are issued. The commission’s tax-monitoring abilities also increase to include the confiscation of electronic databases such as hard disks. The bill further provides for the first time for a jail term of between eight months and five years for those who break competition laws, while increasing fivefold the fine imposed for such violations. The number of commission members will shrink from 11 to nine, with just five supplementary members from 11 today.