Directorate-General for Competition (European Commission)

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The Directorate-General for Competition (COMP) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission, located in Brussels, Belgium. The DG Competition is responsible for establishing and implementing a coherent competition policy for the European Union. The DG Competition has a dual role in antitrust enforcement: an investigative role and a decision-making role. This duality of roles has been criticized in the past. In response to such criticism, DG Competition has implemented a number of internal reforms in order to guarantee parties' due process rights.

DG Competition is also considered to be one of the most sophisticated antitrust enforcers in the world, alongside the US agencies (the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice), and is famous for the fines to corporations, which «went up to €3.4bn between 2000 and 2004, and €9.4bn between 2005 and 2009! Between 2010 and 2012, it was still at €5.4bn».[1]

The DG Competition policy areas include the following:

  • antitrust (agreements and conduct prohibited under Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU),
  • mergers (Commission Regulation (EC) No 802/2004 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (The "Implementing Regulation") and its annexes (Form CO, Short Form CO and Form RS)),
  • liberalisation (Article 106 of the TFEU),
  • state aid - ensuring that government interventions do not distort competition and intra-community trade (Article 107 - 109 of the TFEU),
  • international cooperation.

The current Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy within the European Commission is Joaquín Almunia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The fight against the cartels: The Brussels informers (1/2), Les Echos, 9 July 2013.

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