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 EU and national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review.

Essential facility

Facility or infrastructure which is necessary for reaching customers and/or enabling competitors to carry on their business. A facility is essential if its duplication is impossible or extremely difficult due to physical, geographical, legal or economic constraints. Take for example a national electricity power grid used by various electricity producers to reach the final consumers: Since it would not be viable for these producers to build their own distribution network, they depend on access to the existing infrastructure. Denying access to an essential facility may be considered an abuse of a dominant position by the entity controlling it, in particular where it prevents competition in a downstream market. © European Commission