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.

Cooperation between NCAs

The European Commission and the national competition authorities in all EU Member States cooperate with each other through the European Competition Network (ECN).

This creates an effective mechanism to counter companies which engage in cross-border practices restricting competition. As European competition rules are applied by all members of the ECN, the ECN provides means to ensure their effective and consistent application. Through the ECN, the competition authorities inform each other of proposed decisions and take on board comments from the other competition authorities. In this way, the ECN allows the competition authorities to pool their experience and identify best practices.

The Members of the ECN have also engaged in cooperation and exchange of best practices in the area of merger control by setting up an EU Merger Working Group.

© European Commission

The European Competition Network (ECN) brings together the National Competition Authorities (NCAs) of the twenty-eight Member States of the European Union around the European Commission.

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The ECN has three main missions:

  • First, it ensures the coherence of the European competition policy. All the NCAs have the power to implement European competition law (Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU, formerly Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty) since the decentralisation of 2003, as long as anticompetitive agreement or abuse of a dominant position cases referred to them affect trade between Member States. Mechanisms have therefore been provided to ensure that they interpret and apply these provisions coherently, under the control of the European Commission.
  • Secondly, the ECN involves the NCAs in the adoption of the decisions of the European Commission in competition matters, via an advisory committee which gives its opinion on all draft decisions about agreement or abuse of dominant position cases.
  • Finally, it has the Commission and the NCAs work together on subjects of a more general or sectoral nature: preparation of draft texts, comparison of national decision-making practices, searching for best practice, etc. In this framework, the Autorité de la concurrence, which may contribute to the public consultations launched by the European Commission in competition matters, places its main contributions at the disposal of the interested parties.

There are specific mechanisms allowing the NCAs to be involved in European company merger review activity.

© Autorité de la concurrence

Glossary