Prague, Czechia

could contribute to sustainability – and whether the potential benefits truly outweigh them. Competition authorities are undoubtedly obliged to react to all trends and changes related to climate change as well as technological developments. The most effective protection of competition for the benefit of consumers and society as a whole naturally requires the Office for the Protection of Competition to continuously adapt to such changes, modernise and cooperate both domestically and abroad. Only by doing so, can it contribute to the efficient allocation of products and services and, ultimately, to increased consumer welfare. However, in order to achieve these objectives, the competition authority must have clear priorities and a clear sense of what competition law is actually intended to protect. Main idea of the green antitrust movement is that competition rules need to be revised if they stand in the way of undertakings contributing to a sustainable and climate-neutral economy. Undertakings claim that they want to take more social responsibility for a greener world – but undertakings acting alone will be disadvantaged, while in cooperation with competitors they will be able to switch to more sustainable production methods, where greener but more expensive solutions will not be made uncompetitive thanks to the Deal. There are therefore concerns from individual undertakings that without changes to competition rules, the undertakings may be restricted from taking joint sustainability initiatives due to fear of intervention by competition authorities. For this reason, proposals to introduce exemptions from prohibited agreements, to modify rules to prevent abuse of dominance and to change merger control are increasingly being put forward and discussed. As I have already mentioned, at the end of the last year, the European Commission published its vision of the future direction of competition policy. In particular, it should contribute to the green transition by enabling undertakings to work together to promote green initiatives while preventing greenwashing that would harm consumers. The plan is to extend the exemption from the prohibition of Article 101(1) TFEU to agreements that restrict competition, provided that the benefits created for consumers compensate for the harm caused, particularly in terms of sustainability. I think, one of the biggest risks of ‘greener competition’ is so called greenwashing, and in particular cartel greenwashing, which can manifest itself in two ways – either by the undertakings’ behaviour not actually having a positive effect on sustainability, or by sustainability merely serving as a curtain for anticompetitive behaviour. We should bear in mind that the environmental narrative itself can in no way justify infringement of competition rules. In this context, therefore, I would like to support the European Commission’s position, which is to take hard-line action against greenwashing. If there is the slightest suspicion that


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