Legal background > Rules for the EU market > Community competition law

Community competition law

The competition rules laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Treaty) prohibit, in respect to the common market, the conclusion of agreements that restrict competition, as well as the abuse of a dominant position. These rules are in compliance, as far as their content is concerned, with their counterparts in the Competition Act, which prohibit agreements that restrict competition and the abuse of a dominant position. In case there is a suspicion of infringement, the GVH is authorised and also obliged to apply Community law (namely to start a proceeding against the supposed infringement of Community competition law, which may affect trade between Member States), where it would apply Hungarian competition law for the supposed infringement of its provisions. In the proceeding, the GVH applies as substantive law Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty, secondary Community legislation (regulations and Commission notices), furthermore, the legal principles arising from the decision making practice of the European Commission and the case law of the Court of First Instance and the European Court of Justice. The Community law is applied in procedures that are governed by the procedural law laid down in the Hungarian Competition Act, whilst the substantive provisions of the Competition Act may be applied in parallel with the substantive Community rules. In applying the competition provisions of the Treaty, the members of the European Competition Network co-operate closely in order to ensure the efficiency and uniformity of law-enforcement. Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, which sets forth the procedural framework for the application of Community competition law, contains the main rules of the co-operation.

Hungary's accession to the European Union has brought about changes in the field of merger control as well. Mergers having a Community dimension, through which more than one Member State is affected and where the turnover of the undertakings concerned exceeds the threshold provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004, fall now within the competence of the European Commission, instead of being assessed by the national competition authorities (e. g. by the GVH).

As to the sources of the law of the European Union we recommend the following two websites:

  • DG COMP (for competition policy related legislation)

  • EUR-Lex (for Community legislation in general)