Under Article 8 paragraph 1 of the Internal Market Act (IMA), the Competition Commission (ComCo) has the task of monitoring compliance with the IMA by the Confederation, cantons and communes and other bodies responsible for public tasks. To ensure the proper implementation of the IMA, ComCo and its Secretariat can make use of the following resources and instruments:
- Informal advice by the ComCo Secretariat;
- Recommendations by ComCo on existing and planned legislation (Art. 8 para.2 and 3 IMA);
- Expert opinions from ComCo in administrative and appeal proceedings at the request of the responsible authority (Art. 10 para. 1 IMA);
- Appeals by ComCo with a request for a judicial declaration that a decision has been made contrary to internal market law (Art. 9 para. 2bis IMA);
- Conducting investigations (Art. 8 para. 3 IMA); other authorities are required to provide administrative assistance (Art. 8a IMA) and persons concerned are subject to an obligation to provide information (Art. 8b IMA).
ComCo is not entitled to issue directives to cantonal and communal authorities. A power of this type would be incompatible with Switzerland’s federalist structure. It is ultimately the duty of the courts to decide whether a specific restriction of market access constitutes a breach of the Internal Market Act or not.