The jurisdiction of ESA

The EEA Agreement contains provisions on the attribution of cases between ESA and the European Commission in competition matters (Articles 56 and 57).

The basic rule as regards the application of Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement to undertakings is that the Commission is responsible for cases which also fall under the competition rules of the EC Treaty, that is, when trade between EU Member States and competition in the European Community is appreciably affected.

ESA handles cases where there is an effect only on trade between EFTA States.

In cases where trade between the EU and an EFTA State is affected (“mixed” cases), the attribution of jurisdiction is based on the relative importance of the turnover of the undertakings concerned in the EFTA countries and in the EU. In such cases, ESA is competent to handle cases where the turnover in the EFTA States of the undertakings concerned is equivalent to 33% or more of their total EEA turnover. ESA is also responsible for cases under Article 54 where a dominant position is found to exist only in the EFTA States.

The EEA Agreement is based on the “one-stop-shop” principle, that is, either the Commission or ESA, but not both, will be competent to handle a given case.

In merger control cases, the Commission has jurisdiction over all mergers with a "Community dimension". ESA is only competent to deal with mergers that have an "EFTA dimension" but not a "Community dimension".

Other EEA Institutions

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