Evaluation of the Commission Notice on the definition of relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law of 9 December 1997

Author (Corporate)
Series Details SWD (2021) 199
Publication Date 12/07/2021
Content Type ,


Staff Working Document (SWD) published by the European Commission on 12 July 2021, summarising the findings of an assessment of the Market Definition Notice used in EU competition law.

Further information:

Market definition is a well-established concept in competition law and is used widely by competition authorities internationally. It is also used by the European Commission in its enforcement of those rules to identify the boundaries of competition between companies.

In 1997, the Commission published its Notice on the relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law. The Notice remained unchanged since then. Its purpose was to increase the transparency of Commission policy and decision-making in the area of competition law by rendering public the procedures the Commission follows when considering market definition and by indicating the criteria and evidence on which it relies to reach a decision on market definition.

The aim of this evaluation is to contribute to the Commission's assessment of the functioning of the Market Definition Notice, in order to decide whether to repeal the Notice, leave it unchanged or revise it. The assessment was launched in March 2020

The evaluation shows that the Notice remains highly relevant as it provides clarity and transparency to companies and other stakeholders on the Commission's approach to market definition. However, it also suggests that the Notice does not fully reflect developments in best practices in market definition that have taken place since 1997, including latest developments in EU case-law. Furthermore, since the adoption of the Notice, the Commission has also gathered more experience in analysing markets that are potentially global or at least broader than the European Economic Area (EEA).

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=SWD:2021:199:FIN
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
BEUC: Market Definition in EU competition law enforcement: Need for an Update - BEUC's response to the public consultation (October 2020) https://www.beuc.eu/publications/beuc-x-2020-092_beuc_response_public_consultation_on_market_definition.pdf
RBB Economics: Publications. 21/10/2020: RBB Economics comments on the EC’s Market Definition Notice https://www.rbbecon.com/publications/rbb-economics-comments-on-the-ecs-market-definition-notice/
DLA Piper: Insights, 17/12/2020: Market Definition Notice https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2020/12/antitrust-matters---special-edition/market-definition-notice/

Reuters, 12/07/2021: EU regulators may revise rules defining companies' market power https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-regulators-may-revise-rules-defining-companies-market-power-2021-07-12/

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)200: Staff Working Document accompanying the Report - Executive Summary of the Evaluation https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=SWD:2021:200:FIN
European Commission: DG Competition: Evaluation of the Commission Notice on the definition of relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law https://ec.europa.eu/competition-policy/public-consultations/2020-market-definition-notice_en
European Commission: Consultations: EU competition law – market definition notice (evaluation) https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12325-EU-competition-law-market-definition-notice-evaluation-/public-consultation_en
European Commission: Press Release, 26/06/2020: Competition: Commission consults stakeholders on the Market Definition Notice https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1187
German Competition Authority: 2020 Evaluation of the Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law - Contribution by the Bundeskartellamt (December 2020) https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/SharedDocs/Publikation/EN/Stellungnahmen_Opinion/Evaluatio_Commission_Market_definition_dec_2020.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3
Publications Office of the European Union: Support study accompanying the evaluation of the Commission notice on the definition of relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law - Final Report (June 2021) https://op.europa.eu/s/pltE
European Commission: Press Release, 12/07/2021: Competition: Commission publishes findings of evaluation of Market Definition Notice https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_3585

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