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60 years of commitment to competition

Date of issue: 02.01.2018

In 2018 the Bundeskartellamt celebrates its 60th Anniversary.

Bundeskartellamt 1958 in BerlinBundeskartellamt)

In 2018 the Bundeskartellamt celebrates its 60th Anniversary. On 1 January 1958 the German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) came into force and the Bundeskartellamt began its work in Berlin with 53 members of staff. Sixty years later, around 350 staff in Bonn are pursuing the ambitious aim to maintain effective competition across all sectors of the economy even in an age of globalisation and digital transformation.

The establishment of the Bundeskartellamt was preceded by a long struggle fought by the then Economics Minister and later Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard. The German economy was traditionally dominated by cartels. The Economics Minister's plans therefore met with strong resistance. Ludwig Erhard already saw that there was a close link between competition and consumer protection. In his book "Prosperity for all" Erhard wrote: "The State must not decide who should be victorious in the market, nor should an industrial organisation such as a cartel; it must be the consumer alone."

The Bundeskartellamt is planning to commemorate its 60th Anniversary with a festive ceremony in Bonn on 22 February 2018. Many high-ranking national and international representatives from politics, authorities, industry, the legal profession and academia are expected to attend the event.

For further information please see the Press Release