As there are no regulations for submitting a request for action or its content provided for in legislation, there is no formal structure needed. Including thorough and pertinent information in the request for action will, however, speed up the processing of the case and help in identifying significant problems related to restraints on competition. An insufficient request for action, which has not been properly completed despite the request to do so by the FCCA, may lead to a situation wherein the case is not investigated (cf. Section 31 of the Administrative Procedure Act and justifications for the provision in HE 72/2002).
A request for action may be submitted by an individual undertaking as well as, for example, an industry or entrepreneurial organisation. The request may also be submitted online.
Prior to submitting a request, it is usually recommended that the submitting party discuss the content of the request for action and the FCCA's authority in processing the case together with officials from the FCCA.
The request for action should include at least the following points, provided that the party submitting the request for action has access to the information:
1. Information on the submitting party
1.1. Complete information on the party submitting the request for action as well as information on the nature, scope and possible corporate ties of the party's undertaking.
1.2. Complete contact information for the subject(s) of the request for action, including information on the nature and scope of said subject's undertaking and the competitive situation between the party submitting the request for action and the subject.
1.3. An estimate of how the operating model specified in Section 30 a of the Competition Act affects the opportunities for a private competitor to practice business activities.
2. Suspected competitive neutrality problems and evidence
2.1. As precise and thorough a description as possible concerning the suspected infringement of Section 30 a of the Competition Act.
2.2 An estimate of the duration of the infringement (such as a single action or continuous practice) as well as how and when it began.
2.3. Copies of documents concerning or directly related to factual information possessed by or available to the party submitting the request for action.
3. Market information
3.1. Opinion of the party submitting the request for action concerning competing products or services affected by the operating model/operating structure (relevant commodities market) and the reasons for restricting the market.
3.2. Opinion of the party submitting the request for action concerning the relevant geographic market and the reasons for restricting the market.
3.3. Estimate of the relevant market's size, the market share of various operators on this market and special characteristics of market behaviour.
4. Impacts of the suspected operating model
4.1. Description of how, to what extent and why the operating model in question prevents or distorts competition, contributes to the prevention or distortion of competition, or is otherwise in violation of the requirement for market-based pricing laid out in Section 66 a of the Local Government Act.
4.2. Report on the possible justifications and actions of the subject of the request for action as well as an estimate by the party submitting the request for action regarding the possible justifications for the infringement of competition neutrality (e.g. exceptions to Section 30 b of the Competition Act).
4.3. Estimate (if required) of the total extent of economic damage caused by the infringement as well as an estimate of the damages caused to the party submitting the request for action.
5. Other important considerations
5.1. For example, the impact of special legislation on business activities.
5.2. Any addition information found in public sources concerning the case (e.g. official decisions, investigations conducted in the relevant sector and statistics may be attached).
5.3. Report on whether the case is being or has been processed by another authority or court of law.
6. Business secrets
6.1. Indicate which of the pieces of information you are submitting are business secrets or otherwise to be kept confidential.
6.2. Indicate whether you would like to remain anonymous and provide an explanation why.
As a rule, requests for action are, with the exception of informally submitted cartel tips, considered public domain in accordance with the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The FCCA is required to, upon request, provide anyone with information on the request for action and its related documents. On the other hand, the law also mandates confidentiality obligations, based on which, for example, business secrets and certain other types of information specified in other disclosure-related legislation must not be disclosed. This is why there is a need to specifically indicate any business secrets and other confidential information found in the request for action.
The identity of the party submitting the request for action is generally considered public information. The party's identity may only be concealed for special reasons, such as an extremely important public or private interest.
Requests for action may be submitted to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority Main Registry at P.O. Box 5, 00531 Helsinki or by email to email@example.com.
Regional State Administrative Agencies also investigate competition conditions within their own operating areas and can, by mandate of the FCCA, take action in the promotion of competition in their own region (Section 41 of the Competition Act).