Today the term of office for the until now Chairman of the Competition Commission Ioannis Lianos concludes and former President of the Council of State Irene Evelyn Michaela Mary Sharpe takes over, as was announced in early December.
In a farewell address, Lianos highlighted that the number of decisions of the Committee from 2021, 2022 and 2023 increased 75% to more than 40 decisions in 2021 and 2022, and 33 in 2023. This is a significant improvement in the average over the last 5 years, which was around 20-25 decisions per year.
The heavy focus on reducing the backlog of cases translated into a reduction in the average case time from 8 years (in September 2019) to just under 2 years. In detail, in 2019 the Commission was undertaking cases from 1996 while the case being addressed at the start of December 2023 was from 2019.
Lianos also explained that the experience of the Commission over the past few years shows that on-the-spot checks are essential to assess competition, although digital tools have also assisted in conducting controls. Currently 60,000 product codes are being checked daily and a project to fully automate controls is in the works and is expected to be completed under Sharp’s term, along with cases on tenders related to land surveying services and ophthalmic products.