Arbitration and Competition – A Swiss Perspective

By Dr. Hubert Orso Gilliéron & Jean Marguerat

This article discusses the possibility for parties to formulate competition law claims in arbitration proceedings in Switzerland. It confirms that competition law claims can be arbitrated and that arbitration may be a valid option available to the parties even if the parties to a dispute did not originally agree to subject their disputes to arbitration. Switzerland’s pro-arbitration legislation, coupled with the liberal approach of Swiss state courts towards arbitration and Switzerland’s neutrality, non-membership of the European Union, as well as a long tradition in international arbitration, make Switzerland a very attractive place for arbitrating disputes involving competition law arguments. Another argument in favor of arbitration in Switzerland is the possibility, not tested in practice yet, to ask to the Swiss Competition Commission to take position on the existence of a competition law breach. Limited possibilities of appeal and a favorable legislative context certainly plead in favor of such a dispute resolution mechanism.

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