The task of fair trade law is to prevent strong competition from leading to unfair practices by market participants. Thus, fair trading law aims to cool down competition.
The Swiss Fair trade act ( Lauterkeitsgesetz, UWG; no translation into English) is an outgrowth of the principle of good faith already laid down in Art. 2 of the Civil Code (CC) and applies it specifically to the business sector. The fair trade law deals with good faith in business.
There is no (state) authority for the supervision and enforcement of fair trade law, such as the Competition Commission (COMCO) in antitrust law.
In addition to the state regulations in fair trade law, there are also self-regulations of various national and international business and industry organisations. Such self-regulations are also called «soft law» because they are not enforced by the state but by the business and industry organisations themselves. In the international context, reference can be made to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) standards for fair commercial communication, the Code for Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice. It can be noted that standards are becoming more important in international business in general. They simplify international commercial cooperation because they are universal and not territorial.