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.

Private enforcement

Public enforcement can be defined as the enforcement of antitrust laws by a government, for example by the competition authority or a prosecutor, to detect and sanction violators of competition rules.

By contrast, private enforcement can generally be defined as litigation initiated by an individual, a legal entity, an organisation or a public entity (such as local government and procurement agency in the bid- rigging case) to have a court establish an antitrust infringement and order the recovery of the damages suffered or impose injunctive reliefs.

Private enforcement can be triggered by a stand-alone action or by an action which follows on a public enforcement decision. In most jurisdictions, private enforcement is mostly represented by follow-on private actions.