- Basic principles of competition law — European Competition Network — Enforcement by EU Commission — Enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU — Regulation 1/2003 — National Competition Authorities (NCAs)
This chapter discusses the enforcement of EU competition law. EU competition law is primarily enforced through a system of ‘public enforcement’, where specialized administrative institutions initiate, decide, and terminate cases. Articles 101 and 102 TFEU are enforced by competition authorities at both the European—by the Commission—and national levels—by national competition authorities (NCAs). Since the adoption of Regulation 1/2003, the Commission and the NCAs form a ‘network’ of competition authorities called the European Competition Network (ECN). A set of specific legal mechanisms have been adopted to ensure a harmonious and effective enforcement of EU competition rules amongst the ECN. In addition, national courts also offer a remedial avenue for plaintiffs seeking to invoke EU competition rules. The chapter then looks at how the Commission and NCAs process competition cases. In general, a competition case goes through four stages: detection, investigation, evaluation, and decision.