European Competition Rules
European competition policy in general means the application of competition rules in order to guarantee effective competition, which is essential in the open market economy. European competition rules prohibit anticompetitive agreements and practices, which are likely to affect trade between Member States.
The core of European competition rules are the Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty and the Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003.
The Article 81 of the EC Treaty prohibits anticompetitive practices, which are likely to affect trade between Member States and the Article 82 deals with abuses of dominant positions.
The Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty came into force on 1 May 2004. This regulation meant decentralisation regarding application of community competition rules, with national competition authorities being competent to apply Articles 81 and 82. The regulation foresees the cooperation and information procedures in order to ensure coherent application of community competition rules.