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The Competition Commission comprises 12 members who are elected by the Federal Council. It has a three-member presiding committee. The Federal Act on Cartels demands that the majority of the members of the Competition Commission are independent experts - usually professors of law or economics. Representatives of business associations and consumer organizations take the other seats. This composition ensures both that objective criteria are given priority when electing the Commission members and also that the Commission has the expertise required to take objective well-founded decisions.
The Competition Commission issues its decisions on the basis of proposals from its Secretariat. All of the activities of the Competition Commission are subject to the provisions of the Federal Act on Administrative Procedure, unless the Federal Act on Cartels provides for a different procedure. In cases where it is decided that competition is being affected in an unlawful way through concerted practices, the abuse of a dominant position or a merger, the Competition Commission issues a ruling directly against the initiator. Decisions are subject to an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court. Its decision may be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.
Besides its power to issue decisions, the Competition Commission also has the task of making recommendations and providing opinions to the political authorities, and of giving expert advice on important matters concerning competition. This allows the Competition Commission to draw attention to competition policy concerns at an early stage in the legislative process.
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