Competition law includes the law of unfair competition and the law against restrictions of competition.
Unfair competition law is also known as fair trading law and is regulated by the Unfair Competition Act (UWG) in Germany. It serves to protect against unfair business acts such as the use of untrue statements (such as unauthorised quality marks) or against breaches of law by market participants. Disputes under competition law are conceivable in a wide variety of areas, for example, in the area of food information law Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (FIR), the German Price Indication Regulation (PAngV), Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (Health Claims Regulation), food composition such as Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 (EC Additives Regulation), Regulation (EC) No 1925/2008 (EC Enrichment Regulation), Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 (Novel Food Regulation), the conditions of participation for sweepstakes or contests, in the area of distance selling, e.g. law on terms and conditions, and General Data Protection Regulation.
Legal action against unfair acts can be taken by way of a warning, urgent legal protection or an action on merits. Only those entitled to make a claim have a right to take action against unfair acts. These can be competitors, certain associations and the chambers of industry, commerce and crafts. Whether an unfair act has occurred and whether a warning is justified should always be examined in detail. In the event of a warning notice, a cease-and-desist declaration with a penalty value should only be issued if the associated warning notice is legally correct . Otherwise, there is a risk that one may be obligated to the person issuing the warning notice beyond what is legally required.
The law against restraints of competition serves to protect against contracts between companies that are concluded with the purpose of influencing the market by restricting competition (ban on cartels). Coordinated behaviour such as price fixing or market sharing is to be prevented by prohibitions. In this way, the aim is to ensure that pricing and value creation processes work to the benefit of the general public.