National competition regimes

The EEA competition rules apply in the EFTA States in parallel to relevant national competition legislation where the conduct at issue may affect trade between the Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement.

Since 20 May 2005, following the entry into force of the modernisation reforms, the competition authorities of the EFTA States are empowered to apply Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement. National courts also apply those prohibitions. When applying national competition law in cases where Articles 53 or 54 are also applicable, national competition authorities and courts are required also to apply Articles 53 and 54.

The application of national competition rules must not lead to the prohibition of agreements which may affect trade between the Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement but which are not contrary to Artice 53.

When national courts or competition authorities rule on conduct falling under Articles 53 or 54, they are not entitled to reach a decision that runs counter to a decision adopted by the Authority in the same case.

If the Authority initiates proceedings in a case, the national competition authorities of the EFTA States will lose competence to apply Articles 53 and 54.

The rights and obligations of national competition authorities and courts when applying Articles 53 and 54 EEA are set out in Chapter II of Protocol 4 to the Surveillance and Court Agreement, in the Authority's Notice on co-operation within the EFTA Network of Competition Authorities , and in the Authority's Notice on co-operation with the Courts of the EFTA States in the application of Articles 53 and 54 EEA.

In the field of merger control, the Authority and the Commission retain exclusive competence national authorities have no jurisdiction over mergers that have an EFTA or Community dimension.

Notices and Chapter II of Protocol 4




Other EEA Institutions


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