- Learn About The Law
- Small Business
- International Trade
- Other International Trade Topics
- Overview of European Union competition law
Overview of European Union competition law
European Union (EU) competition law protects consumer welfare by encouraging businesses to produce what the consumer wants, develop innovative products and services, and reduce prices.
In doing so, small and medium-sized businesses should get a fair chance to compete against larger businesses.
The competition law deals specifically with anti-competitive behaviour such as:
- Monopolies - where a single business takes advantage of being the only, or strongest, business providing a service. For more information, see the page in this guide on anti-trust law.
- Mergers - when businesses merge, this must not reduce competition in that market sector. For more information, see the page in this guide on mergers law.
- Cartels - agreements between businesses in the same industry to be uncompetitive. For example, by agreeing to jointly raise prices. For more information, see the page in this guide on cartels legislation.
- State aid - which is allowed only under certain circumstances. For more information, see the page in this guide on state aid and regional aid.
The Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission enforces EU competition law in co-operation with the National Competition Authorities across member states. It can:
- investigate businesses and industries
- start court proceedings against member businesses and member states
- investigate business sectors
- fine businesses that are acting uncompetitively
- give its opinion on proposed mergers that have an effect within a number of member states
The Directorate also supports free competition across the EU by advising other Directorates, holding public consultations, producing reports on the state of competition in the EU and promoting best practice. It also helps countries wanting to join the EU to ensure their laws are aligned with European law.
This content is subject to Crown Copyright
- Business Link
Updates, Videos, understanding
19year old british citizen stuck in the netherlands waiting for a court case. Help!!
contract law query
Have To Go To Court, alleged Malicious Communications. Terrified.
Recovery of debt
Court ordered Company but still Director is denying to pay.
Compromise agreement....Meeting on Monday ...I would be very grateful for any advice
Maintenance rights and ability to sue for more, 5 years after break up
Next of kin? Funeral rights?
Entering Sex Shop
Problem on neighbours new build flooding my property
contract school education
going equipped, and consipracy to burgal
Arrested for unpaid mortgage
Recovery period query
Copyright law: Lawyers from Premier League clubs not suing video-makers
Legal teams representing Premier League football clubs will not be pursing legal action against fans who had shared unofficial match footage via the video distribution site Vine, reports the Lawyer. On Friday 15 August, Premier League officials told fans any...
Human Rights: EU 'Right to be Forgotten' law causes controversy
Numerous requests made to Google to have links to articles removed quoting the European right to be forgotten have sparked a heated debate, reports The Telegraph. Following the removal of countless links to articles regarding criminal activity, the EU's right...
Extradition law: Assange finally ready to leave Ecuadorian embassy in London following changes to UK law
After two years inside the safety of the building in Knightsbridge, Julian Assange has announced his plan to leave the embassy as a result of the changes made to UK extradition law, reports the Telegraph. Having claimed political asylum in...
Public services companies may be forced to publish details of their business activities under new Freedom of Information laws
Due to a potential overhaul of the current Freedom of Information laws, any company providing public services such as energy companies could be compelled to reveal details of their business, reports the Telegraph. The Liberal Democrats are attempting to put...
Immigration law: 35 suspected illegal immigrants found in a shipping container in the port of Tilbury
35 people, believed to be illegal immigrants, were discovering in a shipping container this Saturday after "screaming and banging" was heard by Tilbury port workers, reports the Guardian. On Saturday 16 August, port workers discovered 35 people, including 10 children,...
Criminal: Police accuse BBC of breaking its own rules
In a controversial act, the BBC broadcast live coverage of the police raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home last week. The broadcaster has now been greatly criticised and is accused of 'breaking its own guidelines' by putting police under pressure...
Criminal: UKIP MEP calls for reintroduction of capital punishment
On the anniversary of the final death by capital punishment, UKIP MEP, Louise Bours, calls for the reinstatement of the death penalty, reports the Daily Mail. Despite many celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the last case of capital punishment in...
Criminal: One found guilty while another walks free for attempting to fund terrorism
A woman who was arrested for attempting to smuggle money into Turkey to fund terrorism was found not guilty, though her old friend and organiser of the entire operation was, reports the BBC. Londoner, Nawal Msaad, was stopped by police...
Norman Baker, drugs minister, has called for cannabis to be legalised for medicinal use
Liberal Democrat drugs minister, Norman Baker, will be sending a letter to Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative health secretary, calling for cannabis to be legalised to relieve symptoms of particular medical conditions, the Guardian reports. Baker will be informing Hunt that...
Sentencing: Report into prisoner suicide calls for greater protection for young inmates
A recent report has expressed concern for the number of young prisoners taking their own lives, reports the BBC. Following a report into 80 suicides by young prisoners that have taken place in the last seven years, Prisons and Probation...
Fraud: Benefits cheat with private income sentenced to jail
Benefits cheat, Seema Bassi of Illford, Essex, has been jailed for twelve months following her court hearing, reports the Daily Mail. Despite boasting a sizeable portfolio of 26 properties which she leased to both private and council tenants, Ms Bassi...
Criminal Law: Thousands of domestic abusers avoid criminal records by apologising
It has been found that a large number of domestic abusers are not being given criminal records even after they have carried out acts of domestic violence because they have been allowed to apologise. These apologies are known as "community...
Green energy: Influential business leaders claim the EU's green policies will cost the UK over a million jobs
It has been claimed by Business for Britain, a group of well-regarded business leaders, the EU's green energy laws will but 1.5m manufacturing jobs at risk in the UK reports the Telegraph. Business for Britain (BfB) has published a report...
Alcohol: Parliamentary group seeks new rules on labeling for drinks
A parliamentary group that looks specifically at legislation around alcohol has recommended that all alcoholic drinks carry health warnings to help to combat the harmful effects of problem drinking, reports the BBC. Alcohol is one of the biggest health issues...
Pub culture: Real ale campaigners call for change in the law to save pubs
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have called on the government to legislate to save public houses in the face of statistics showing as many as 30 pubs are closing down each week, reports the BBC. CAMRA has called for...
Whether you are already involved in a lawsuit, or just considering getting help with a legal issue, you may have questions about working with a solicitor. Click through to find practical tips on choosing, meeting with, and hiring a solicitor - including information on fee agreements and expenses.see our hiring a solicitor guide
If you download a song, film, game or software from a file-sharing website or another website (such as a page on a social-networking site) where it's made available, and you do not pay for the item or otherwise obtain it under licence from the copyright holder, then you are infringing someone's copyright.