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In a note dated 23 September 2014, the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs clarified how the European Commission (EC) may send notices to Swiss companies, something companies often struggle with in light of the Swiss criminal blocking statutes on the provision of data/information to foreign authorities, requiring a waiver from the Swiss government. It confirmed that acts of state cannot be sent by the EC to Swiss companies directly but only through the Swiss Competition Commission (ComCo). Acts of state are considered to be acts by which penalties can be imposed, a certain conduct can be prohibited or demanded, subject to penalties in case of non-compliance. Non-compulsory requests for information, i.e. not subject to penalties, are not considered acts of state and can be notified directly without a waiver being required. By Philippe Reich* and Roger Thomi*

* Philippe Reich is a partner, Roger Thomi an associate in Baker & McKenzie’s Zürich office.


Philippe Reich is the head of Baker & McKenzie's Antitrust and Trade Law Practice Group in Switzerland and a member of the European Competition Law and transactional practice groups. He is a member of the EMEA Steering Committee of the International Trade and Commerce Practice Group and of the Global Steering Committee for the Firm's India Practice. He is also the Chairman of the Swiss Indian Chamber of Commerce and forms the Indian Desk in Switzerland. Mr. Reich regularly publishes articles on Swiss antitrust and trade laws and the Swiss-EU as well as Swiss-Indian bilateral relations.

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