EU competition law and the role of the European Commission

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • EU competition law and the role of the European Commission
  • EU competition law
  • Structure of the Commission
  • DG Competition
  • The investigative role of the European Commission
  • Commission cooperation with Member States
  • Cooperation within the European Competition Network
  • Consultation between the Commission and Member States
  • Cooperation in merger control
  • European Commission cooperation with national courts
  • More...

EU competition law and the role of the European Commission

The European Commission is the EU-wide regulator tasked with enforcing and supervising EU competition law.

The Commission will investigate and take action against particular types of behaviour, for example cartel activity and dominant companies trying to leverage their market power. It will also investigate merger cases.

EU competition law

There are four principle areas of EU competition law:

  1. the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements under Article 101 TFEU (see further, The prohibition on restrictive agreements)

  2. the prohibition on the abuse of a dominant position under Article 102 TFEU (see further, An overview of the prohibition on abuse of dominance)

  3. merger control under the EU Merger Regulation (Regulation 139/2004), which requires the prior notification of transactions that meet the required thresholds to the European Commission (see further, An overview of a 'concentration' with an EU dimension ), and

  4. the prohibition on illegal State Aid under Articles 107-109 TFEU, where a Member State provides aid to selected companies over others that impacts competition and affects trade between Member States (see further, An overview of State aid).

EU competition law is enforced by the European Commission (with appeals to the EU Courts) and national competition authorities and courts in EU Member States (see below).

Structure of the Commission

The Commission is the EU's executive body.

The Commission is headed by the College of Commissioners–a

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