European Union competition law

European competition law is the competition law in use within the European Union. It promotes the maintenance of competition within the European Single Market by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies to ensure that they do not create cartels and monopolies that would damage the interests of society.

Together with its public services, the European Union's market economy, which competition law aims to protect from unfair trade practices and private monopolies, generated €14.303 trillion in 2013.

European competition law today derives mostly from articles 101 to 109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as a series of Regulations and Directives. Four main policy areas include:

Primary authority for applying competition law within the European Union rests with European Commission and its Directorate General for Competition, although state aids in some sectors, such as agriculture, are handled by other Directorates General. The Directorates can mandate that improperly-given state aid be repaid, as was the case in 2012 with Malev Hungarian Airlines.[2]

Leading ECJ cases on competition law include Consten & Grundig v Commission and United Brands v Commission.


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