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).

The DG Competition policy areas include the following:

  • antitrust (agreements prohibited under the Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty)
  • 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 (Articles 3 and 86 of the EC treaty)
  • state aid - ensuring that government interventions do not distort competition and intra-community trade (Article 87 of the EC Treaty).
  • international cooperation

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

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