Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary is based on definitions from DG COMP’s Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy (© European Union, 2002) and the OECD’s Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law (© OECD, 1993). Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review.

Consumers’ associations

Consumers’ associations are special groups of subjects acting in the area of consumer protection. Provision of consultancy, legal protection, involving in international activities is their task and many of them have the right to represent consumers at courts and also in solving litigations in reclaiming proceedings.

Consumers’ associations can file criminal or contractual proceedings on behalf of a group of consumers (the association then receives the money paid by the supplier) and can obtain compensation for damages suffered on behalf of consumers. In this sense, the civil action is an effective complement to official action by the competition authorities. The potential of a claim for damages, on top of a fine imposed for the offence, has a dissuasive effect for businesses. A business which might contemplate entering into a price-fixing agreement or abusing its dominant position would have to take into account the risk of having to pay civil damages as well as an administrative penalty.

©OECD

Glossary