EU Competition Policy

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2002

14 Pages, Grade: 1,3 (A)


Table of Content


1. Introduction

2. Terminology and Definitions
2.1 Goals of European Competition Policy
2.2 Applicability of the European Competition Law and Policy

3. EU Competition Policy
3.1 Strategy of mediation
3.2 Strategy of impediment
3.3 Strategy of concentration

4. European Competition Policy and Merger control (Fusionskontrolle)

5. Critical issues of the European Competition Policy


1. Introduction

All European Treaties express an attitude towards integration, which first time had been formulated and later on realised with the Schuman Plan. From that point on, the eco- nomic integration evolved to its today‘s magnitude in form of a Common Market and the historical move towards the implementation of €-currency in these days. The ad- vantages of a Common Market had ever been understood regarding the potentially con- tinuing and sustaining growth, guaranteeing a relatively high standard of living in wide area of the Member States of the European Union. Further, the existence of the inte- grated market may lead to a more or less homogenous and harmonic development of the relations of the Member States and the union’s periphery. The notion that unfair or re- straining acts and behaviour will not go along with the liberal minded treaties, and will therefor be prohibited, may be found already in the Treaty of the European Coal and Steal Community (ECSC) from 1952. According to the Single European Act of 1986, an internal market shall be established, characterised by the free movement of goods and services, persons and capital. Article 10 of the TEU requests the Member States „to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of this Treaty or resulting from action taken by the institutions of the Community”. Correspondingly, the Member States “shall abstain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of this Treaty”. From these less restrictive formulations result some obligations for the Mem- ber States in order to assure a free market and liberal competition1. In contrast to some other but less “communised” field of European policies this is drawn to that extent that national competition regulation are supposed to be adapted, or even abolished, to ensure the jurisdictional unity and equality of competition throughout the European Union


The foundation of European competition law results from Article 81 TEC (restriction of competition) and Article 82 TEC (abuse of dominating position). Article 83 to 89 TEC concern additional regulations, which might not be covered with this paper. According to EMMERICH and despite some more or less spectacular decisions made by the respective competition authorities one can hardly assert that a unique and workable European competition policy is in existence now3.

2. Terminology and Definitions

2.1 Goals of European Competition Policy

The main goal of the Treaties of the European communities / European Union is the promotion of a harmonic development within the region of the Member States. Compe- tition Policy is therefore a principal mechanism. To secure a pure competition a Com- mon Market is needed. The protection of a workable and sustainable competition serves not only to gain international competitiveness, but also to achieve the efficient alloca- tion of resources and formulation of incentives. European competition authorities stress that their policy is not based on a concept of laisses-faire. Rather it shall enforce a somewhat wider kind of economical equality, which is surpassing national horizon(s)4. To summarise: The unification of former divided national markets, formerly character- ised through deep routed differences, to one huge market area became only feasible af- ter rules and certain ways of conduct had been established5. Yet, European Union is en- deavouring to implement this kind of rules regarding their competition policies within the region. Concerns may arise when supranational administrated competition policy opposes with rather nationalised Industrial Policy6. In the nowadays Europe and ac- cording to contemporary political issues such incidents might ran counter or at least mix up with the aims of the Common Market. European Structural Policy makes this evi- dence particularly visible. Competition Policy therefore ought to prevent the “empowerment” of the markets in this regard.

2.2 Applicability of the European Competition Law and Policy

The application of the competition law of the EU and, accordingly, the realisation of the respective policies are linked to several conditions. Article 81 and 82 TEC are solely applicable to restrictions of the competition, if acts are directed against the Common Market with no concern about the origin of the company7. Thus, the European law dominates national (competition) law. Accordingly - for example to the German com- petition law (§ 50 GWB) - national competition authorities may be considered rather as executing devices than as independently acting national instruments. On the other side, companies affecting the markets are usually big players in European or even global context. The question to be asked is how markets are affected, not necessarily by whom (principle of repercussion). Additionally, transactions of actors have to be distinctively


1 Schmidt/Schmidt (1997), p. 3.

2 Zuleeg (1997), p. 129.

3 Emmerich (1994), p. 512.

4 Kommissionen der Europäischen Gemeinschaften (1982), p. 11.

5 Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaften (1980), p. 9.

6 Article 157 TEC.

Excerpt out of 14 pages


EU Competition Policy
Jagiellonian University in Krakow  (Centre for European Studies)
EU Economy in Global Context
1,3 (A)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
397 KB
Competition policy of the EU
EU competition Wettbewerb Wettbewerbspolitik Verhandlungsstrategie, competition, trade strategy
Quote paper
Heiko Bubholz (Author), 2002, EU Competition Policy, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: EU Competition Policy

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free