Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary has been prepared by DG COMP for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin.

Relevant market

The definition of a relevant market is a tool to identify and define the boundaries of competition between firms. It allows to establish the framework within which competition policy principles are applied by the Commission. The main purpose of market definition is to identify in a systematic way competitive constraints that the undertakings involved face. Market definition makes it possible, inter alia, to calculate market shares that convey meaningful information regarding market power for the purposes of assessing dominance ( dominant position(s)). A relevant market is defined according to both product and geographic factors. In general terms, a relevant product market comprises all those products and/or services which are regarded as interchangeable or substitutable (substitutability) by reason of product characteristics, prices and intended use. Products and/or services that could readily be put on the market by other producers without significant switching cost or by potential competitors at reasonable cost and within a limited time span also need to be taken into account. The relevant geographic market comprises the area in which the undertakings concerned are involved in the supply and demand of products or services, in which the conditions of competition are sufficiently homogeneous and which can be distinguished from neighbouring areas, because the conditions of competition are appreciably different in those areas.See: Commission Notice on the definition of relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law (OJ C 372, 9.12.1997, p.5)

© European Commission