Dictionnaire de droit de la concurrence

Muriel Chagny, Emmanuel Combe (dir.)

This section selects books on themes related to competition laws and economics. This compilation does not attempt to be exhaustive but rather a survey of themes important in the area. The survey usually covers publication over the last three months after publication of the latest issue of Concurrences. Publishers, authors and editors are welcome to send books to catherine.prieto@univ-paris1.fr for review in this section.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article.

The rules of competition law are remarkable in that they can be summarized in a few words. They have a universal scope, in that they apply to all economic actors, of any size, of any corporate form, in all sectors of activity, and in all places, since it is the geographical location of the effects of the litigious practices that governs the competence of the authority in charge of their application, and not that of the head office of the company considered. And yet, these competition rules, which have such a broad footprint, are brief, almost succinct in their wording. Whether they are enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or in the French Commercial Code, they are written in pithy terms - Articles L. 420-1 and L. 420-2 each contain less than 150 words, whereas the latest edition of the French Commercial Code is some 3,800 pages long. Isn’t this conciseness a reason for their success? Because it targets, in "general and impersonal" terms, practices designated as harmful, without seeking to exhaust the description of the details of the behaviors by which they are actually implemented, competition law manages to embrace the entire field of reality, in all its variety and changing nature, thus providing a solid basis for the fight against these practices of illegal agreement or abuse of dominant position. It thus escapes Montesquieu’s criticism that useless laws weaken necessary laws. So, if positive law can do without too many words, why a dictionary? Precisely, the work that Concurrences has undertaken to compile, by enlisting the help of the best practitioners, owes its relevance and usefulness to this mode of development of competition law, which proceeds from the continuous contribution of decision-making practice and case law rather than from the inflation of standards. Infringements of competition law are, of course, determined by the texts. But the practices that constitute such infringements, the parameters of the analysis that allows them to be qualified, the conceptual tools used by the competition authorities, are in constant reinvention. Subjected to the test of the evolving reality of the behavior of the actors, of the movements which recompose the economic landscape, the concepts at stake in the implementation of the competition law are strengthened and deployed, under the control of the judge. It is from this plurality of sources, rather than from positive law alone, that the vocabulary of competition law and policy draws. Consequently, the characteristics of this branch of law make it all the more necessary that it be provided with a work presenting an inventory of its own terminology. But the lexicographer who takes up this subject cannot be a distant observer of the subject. The vocabulary of competition is not disembodied. It is defined and understood in the context of the cases that have materialized the different notions at work. This is why the approach adopted to elaborate the dictionary proposed by Concurrences is particularly judicious. The authors are competition practitioners who, for each of the entries, propose a definition of the term in question and link it to the decisions that established its existence, set its scope and nourished its content. The reader thus benefits from a tool that is not only easy to consult - the online version is freely accessible - but also directly useful for his work, as it reflects the competition law subject as it is developed, in concrete terms. It is all the more so as the lexicon of competition law itself is not in fact only that of the law! If it is accepted that the normative corpus does not exhaust all the words of competition law, it is also because its terminology borrows from other fields than the legal. To delimit markets, to unfold a counterfactual scenario, or to assess the consequences of the emergence of new business models, economic theory supports the law. Increasingly, the contributions of sectoral regulation, notably in the area of personal data protection, but also in the field of telecoms, media or energy, are also integrated. Prepared by the very people who teach, litigate or apply competition rules, this dictionary of the journal Concurrences includes these other dimensions, without exclusion. Through this pragmatic and broad-spectrum approach, this tool reflects the constant concern of the community of competition regulators to ensure its relevance, for the benefit of all economic actors.

PDF Version


  • French Competition Authority (Paris)


Benoît Cœuré, Dictionnaire de droit de la concurrence, November 2022, Concurrences N° 4-2022, Art. N° 109438, pp. 250

Publisher Concurrences

Date 1 January 1900

Number of pages 500

ISBN 979-10-94201-47-3

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