Submitting complaints to the Commission for Protection of Competition

Updated last 26.03.2021

General information

In the course of your Commerce Activity, there is a risk that your competitors jeopardize or harm your interests through the commercial practices they use. Тhe Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) monitors the observation of the rules in the performance of competitive Commerce Activity.

Every person, whose interests are affected or jeopardized by a violation of the Competition Protection Act (CPA), may file a claim for the initiation of proceedings before the CPC in order to establish the violation.

What are the violations of the competition rules?

These are actions, incompatible with the internal market, including agreements between enterprises, decisions of associations of enterprises and coordinated practices, which may affect trade and are intended for or result in the prevention, limitation or disruption of the competition.

Examples of violations of the CPA may be found here.

The motion for initiation of a procedure before the Commission on Protection of Competition is filed based on a sample form, approved by the Commission, and it should be in Bulgarian and contain:

  • The name and registration details/personal number of the candidate and the person, against whom the complaint is submitted;
  • The address/registered office of the candidate and the person, against whom the complaint is submitted;
  • Description of the circumstances, on which the request and the claimed violation are based;
  • Reason for the request;
  • Evidence in support of the request;
  • The signature of the person, submitting the request, or his/its representativ
  • A document, evidencing the state fee paid.

A template of the request for establishing a violation can be found here. For more information on completion of the request please refer to Commissions guidelines on completing the request template, which you can find here.

Important to know
Important to know

Protection from the CPC may be addressed within:

  • Three years – in case of violations of the provisions, related to requests for information [1] or the performance of checks by the CPC;
  • Five years – for all other violations.

These terms start from the date of the violation, and in case of a prolonged violation, from the date of discontinuation of the violation.

If the request is properly submitted, the CPC shall initiate proceedings, with which it shall investigate the claims, contained in the request.

In the course of the proceedings you may be requested to provide additional information, which can be both written and verbal.

In the initiated proceedings, the CPC shall exercise its powers, pursuant to art. 45 of the CPA, as follows:

  • Requesting information and material, written, digital and electronic evidences, irrespective of the media, on which such evidences are stored;
  • Receiving verbal or written explanations;
  • Performing on-site inspections;
  • Assignment of expert investigations to external experts;
  • Requesting information or cooperation from other national competition bodies of the EU Member States, as well as of the European Commission;
  • Requests information and assistance from antitrust authorities of the European Union member states, and from the European Commission at exercising the powers at trans-border investigations in the sphere of the unfair trade practices;
  • Requests information and assistance from other competent national authorities, from the competent authorities of the European Union member states and from the European Commission under the provisions of Regulation (EC) 2017/2394.

These proceedings are a set of procedural activities on the part of the Commission, the parties and other participants in the proceedings, intended for the collection and verification of evidence, based on the subject matter of the respective investigation.

The period for the completion of the proceedings for establishing violations of the CPA, depends on the subject matter of the investigation within the proceedings.

Commission’s decisions, unless otherwise provided for by law, may be appealed in terms of their lawfulness, before the Administrative Court – Sofia Region.

For more information
For more information

For more information regarding the deadlines, rules and methods of conducting the proceedings, as well as the applicable sanctions, please visit the website of the Commission for Protection of Competition.

[1] The Commission imposes material sanctions up to the amount of one percent of the total turnover in the preceding financial year of an enterprise or association of enterprises for:

  • failing to provide due cooperation to the Commission in the performance of its powers;
  • confronting a sudden spot inspection by the Commission under article 50 of the Law on Protection of Competition;
  • breaking the integrity or destruction of the seals, attached when performing the on-site inspection as per art. 50 of the Competition Protection Act;
  • delayed submission or submission of incomplete, inaccurate, unreliable or misleading information in violation of the obligations, as per art. 47, para. 4 and 6 of the Competition Protection Act;
  • Non-performance of the obligation for collection of information under article 47, paragraph 5 of the Competition Protection Act;
  • failure in the due notification of the Commission of the implementation of the Decision, if such decision imposes specific conditions or obligations.