- 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
Solad2b your inbox full again!
Help!! Feeling victimised
Do I need a gaming license?
IPCC is hiring Experienced Investigators
Governance Manager career opportunity in Dartford
lookinf after son
Law Quiz-Time yourself for 2 minutes
Debt recovery solicitor in Lancashire
Retrieving cash from a homebuilder
How many are still facing Bullying And Harassment At Work Place ?
Immigration Marriage Fraud
Families take to representing themselves in child-related cases
New statistics suggest that more than 50% of cases brought before family courts involve parties with no formal legal representation, reports the Law Society Gazette. The news comes one year after the Coalition Government implemented sweeping cuts to legal aid,...
Conservationists demand tougher laws for puffins
Conservationists have demanded greater legal protection for puffins on the Channel Island of Alderney, saying that local dog walkers are threatening the species, reports the BBC. The Alderney Wildlife Trust would like tougher laws to be introduced to protect the...
'Out of court' settlement draws union criticism
An out-of-court settlement made between a rail company and a wealthy fare-dodger has drawn criticism from a union which claims it is one rule for the rich and another for everyone else, reports the BBC. The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association...
Justice Secretary launches fight against foreign use of legal aid
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has criticised the use of legal-aid budgets by foreigners, saying the taxpayers' money should not be used to fund cases that are aimed purely to block government decisions, reports the Daily Telegraph. Chris Grayling has...
Evening Standard highlights how gangs use ancient laws to bring weapons into UK
Gangs are using old-fashioned firearms legislation to bring guns onto the streets of London, exposes the London Evening Standard. The newspaper has revealed how criminals are using a legal loophole in order to import guns into Great Britain, and claims...
Home Office reveals that one third of immigration arrests lead to deportation
The Home Office has released figures for 2013 that suggest that of all the arrests made for immigration purposes, around one third led directly to the deportation of the arrested person. The Home Office statistics show that of the 4,535...
Woman tells of 'ruin' after discovering valuable vase in garage
A woman has told the Daily Mail about her two-year legal hell, after she discovered a valuable vase in her garage. The lady sold the vase but became embroiled in a legal battle with her former mother-in-law which has left...
Nigel Farage to take legal advice over EU expenses
The leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is taking legal advice after being accused of misappropriating EU expenses, after a former party aide claimed that £50,000 of EU funding was paid directly into a personal bank account of the...
'War Horse' musicians lose legal fight after sacking
Five musicians sacked from the hit West-End musical 'War Horse' have lost a legal fight to have their sacking suspended whilst a breach of contract case is heard, reports the BBC. The five musicians were released by the producers of...
Anti-semitism: Private school faces questions over 'gas chamber' comment by teacher
A London private school is facing uncomfortable questions in the media after the Daily Mail reported an incident in which a teacher told a Jewish student she would be 'sent to the gas chambers' for jumping the lunch queue. The...
Korea state insurance firm sues tobacco companies
The South Korean state insurance company has initiated legal proceedings in Asia against cigarette manufacturers in a bid to have them pay for smoking-related treatment costs, reports the BBC. The unprecedented legal action pit the South Korean National Health Insurance...
Former deputy speaker says CPS should pay legal bill and criticises anonymity for sexual cases
The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans MP has demanded that the Crown Prosecution Service pay his £130,000 legal bill after being acquitted in a trial over a string of sexual offences, reports the BBC. Mr...
Gay marriage: Chaplain defies rules to marry partner in England
A hospital chaplain has defied Church of England rules to marry his long-term partner this weekend, despite the move being censured by his church, reports the BBC. Same-sex marriage became law in the UK last year, and the first ceremonies...
'Top Gear' venue loses fight over unrestricted flying rights
The owners of Dunsfold Park Aerodrome have lost their legal fight to secure the right to conduct unrestricted flying at the venue, in a blow to the producers of the Top Gear programme that is filmed there, reports the BBC....
Legal challenge to GP exam fails in High Court
The High Court has ruled that the examinations set by the Royal College of General Practitioners is lawful, but rules that it is time for the profession to address the differences in pass rates between white and non-white candidates, reports...
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.