The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority commenced operations

The Finnish Competition Authority and the Finnish Consumer Agency merged into Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) from 1 January 2013. The aim of the merger is to increase the societal significance of competition and consumer issues and to improve administrative efficiency. The statutory tasks of the two agencies remain unchanged in the reform.

The duties of the FCCA relate to implementing competition and consumer policy, ensuring good market performance, implementing competition legislation and EU competition rules, and securing the financial and legal position of the consumer.

The FCCA is led by Director General. In addition, the agency has a Director responsible for the Competition Division and a Director responsible for the Consumer Division, who will also act as the Consumer Ombudsman. The statutory duties and authority of the Consumer Ombudsman will remain unchanged in the reform. The Director General of the new Competition and Consumer Authority shall not have the authority to decide on matters falling within the Consumer Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

A temporary management has been appointed for the FCCA for the period of 1 January – 31 March 2013. Juhani Jokinen, Master of Laws (trained on the bench), was appointed acting Director General; Timo Mattila, M.Sc. (Tech.), M.Soc.Sc, the acting Director of the Competition Division and Päivi Hentunen, Master of Laws, the acting Director of the Consumer Division and acting Consumer Ombudsman. The open application procedure for the posts of Director General and the two Directors shall end on 7 January 2013.

The 2013 budget for the FCCA is €11m. There are approximately 150 employees at agency. The FCCA is currently located at two different offices in Helsinki, but the work to locate shared premises is already underway.