On February 20, 2018 Seminar on the application of competition rules to state-owned enterprises and enterprises with special and exclusive rights was held under the EU project Support to the Georgian Competition Agency. EBA Georgia was involved in organizing the Seminar.
Taking into account EU principles and concrete examples from EU Member states, the workshop presented the issues of State owed enterprises (SOEs) that, due to their privileged position, may negatively affect competition. These type of companies should be subject to similar competition disciplines as private enterprises (see also art 205 DCFTA) to the greatest extent possible consistent with their public service responsibilities. Even if a large number of entities that hold special or exclusive rights or privileges are owned by state or local government, there are also many situations in which exclusive rights may be granted (often without any tender-based process and for long term periods) to private companies (like in the case of concessions). Also in this scenario it is important both to gain the attention of Public Institutions and to prevent the possibility that companies may put in force behaviours restricting competition or normal market functioning on detriment of other firms. The experts discussed with participants practical examples and situations from EU countries in order to raise awareness on these crucial topics and identify possible solutions for Georgian economy.