EEA competition rules

EU_flagProvisions on competition matters form a significant part of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement), both in the main substance of the Agreements, its protocols and annexes. All the states of the European Union, in addition to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, are parties to the Agreement, which was ratified in Iceland by Act No. 2/1993. The purpose of the competition rules of the Agreement is to create a homogeneous and strong competitive environment in the European Economic Area. The principal substantive rules of the Agreement concerning competition matters are laid down in Article 53, which bans collusion of undertakings, Article 54, which bans the abuse by undertakings of a dominant position, and Article 57, which addresses the concentration of undertakings.

The competition rules of the EEA Agreement are enforced only when contracts and decisions of undertakings in the EEA can have a direct or indirect impact on competition in the Area. The competition rules of the EEA Agreement apply concurrently with the Icelandic Competition Act No. 44/2005. The competition rules of the Agreement are enforced by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), the Commission of the European Communities and the Competition Authority. The division of cases between the ESA and the Commission is based on Articles 56 and 57 of the EEA Agreement. According to the Competition Act, the Competition Authority is required to enforce Articles 53 and 54 of the Agreement if contracts between undertakings have an impact on the Area, as further stipulated in Chapter VII of the Competition Act. Further information on the competition rules of the EEA Agreement is available on the ESA website. Complaints and tips relating to violations of the competition rules of the EEA Agreement may be sent to ESA or to the Competition Authorities.