Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary was prepared by DG COMP and the OECD for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin. (© European Union - © OECD)

Notion of control

Joint control exists where two or more undertakings or persons have the possibility of exercising decisive influence over another undertaking. Decisive influence in this sense normally means the power to block actions which determine the strategic commercial behaviour of an undertaking. Joint control can be acquired legally or de facto.

See further: Commission Notices on the concept of full-function joint ventures and on the concept of concentration (OJ C 66, 2.3.1998, p. 1 and 5).

© European Commission

Control over enterprises is generally viewed to be exercised when an individual or group of investors hold more than 50 per cent of the common voting stock of the enterprise or firm. However, "effective control" may be exercised when the investor(s) holds a large block of voting stock even when it is less than 50 per cent but the remaining shares are widely held by many smaller investors. Control of enterprises may also be exercised through interlocking directorates and inter-corporate ownership links between firms as in the case of conglomerates.