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.


In order to carry out the duties assigned to it by Regulation 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty, the Commission is empowered, for example, to:

  • Send information requests to companies;
  • In the context of an inspection:
    • enter the premises of companies;
    • examine the records related to the business;
    • take copies of those records;
    • seal the business premises and records during an inspection;
    • ask members of staff or company representatives questions relating to the subject-matter and purpose of the inspection and record the answers.

At the end of the initial investigative phase, the Commission can take the decision to pursue the case as a matter of priority and to conduct an in-depth investigation, or to close it.

In cartel cases, if the case is to be pursued, the Commission decides whether or not the case is suitable for the settlement procedure.

© European Commission