A legislative amendment revises the mandate of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) to carry out inspections

The right of the FCCA to carry out inspections on businesses that offer information management services has been clarified by an amendment (253/2014) to the Finnish Competition Act, coming into force on 1 March 2015.

While monitoring the compliance with the Finnish Competition Act, the FCCA has the right to execute inspections on the business premises of target companies and to examine the business correspondence, bookkeeping, computer files, other documents, and data that may be relevant for ensuring compliance. The amendment gives the inspectors the right to in the future receive information directly from a service provider to whom the target company has outsourced its information management.

This amendment was introduced because of the increase in the use of cloud computing, wherein data is stored in a centralised server accessible via the Internet. According to the government proposal, the amendment is only technical in nature and makes it possible for the inspectors to more rapidly receive information from service providers without a separate inspection decision. The amendment makes the inspection work of the FCCA quicker and easier, but it does not formally extend the FCCA’s competence. However, the amendment does clarify the obligations of both the target company and the service provider.