The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Commissions want stricter rules for federal companies

The Economic Affairs Committees of both chambers want clearer rules for fair competition between federal companies and private companies. The National Council committee will now discuss how far the remit of federal companies should extend.

The issue was raised by National Councillor Jürg Grossen (GLP/BE) and Councillors of States Andrea Caroni (FDP/AR) and Beat Rieder (Center/VS) with identical parliamentary initiatives. The Economic Affairs Committee of the Council of States (WAK-S) approved them by a vote of 11 to 1, as reported by the Parliamentary Services on Tuesday. The sister committee of the National Council (WAK-N) can now draft a bill.

In the view of the WAK-S, the fact that state-owned companies operate beyond their basic mandate is often more historical than economic, as stated in the press release. Against the backdrop of technological developments, but also various controversies surrounding distortions of competition caused by private-sector activities, for example at Swiss Post or Swisscom, the time is ripe for a fundamental decision on the fields of activity of state-owned companies.

The WAK-N now wants to draw up a regulation to prevent distortion of competition through cross-subsidization from the monopoly sector. A corresponding draft law will be submitted for consultation as soon as possible.

©Keystone/SDA

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