Dawn Raid Guide: Antitrust authorities

The antitrust authorities in Germany have the task of detecting and prosecuting competition law infringements. In Germany these tasks are carried out by the Federal Cartel Office, the Regional Competition Authorities – and the EU Commission if cross-border matters are involved. If there is sufficient indication for the existence of competition law infringements the antitrust authorities can, in certain circumstances with the assistance of the police, carry out (unannounced) dawn raids at the premises of undertakings suspected of participating in a cartel, and sometimes even at the premises of third parties which are not involved. The purpose of the dawn raid is to investigate circumstances suspected of being in breach of antitrust law by finding and securing evidence. The authorities can, for example, search physical files, IT systems, archives and individual workstations. Searches usually begin in the early morning, which is why they are referred to as dawn raids, and can last for several days.