Enterprises (companies) and their associations – subjects
of anticompetitive practices
Lecturer Ovidiu Horia MAICAN1
The competition rules applicable to enterprises (companies) are the most
important rules of European Union competition law. They have a direct effect and are
primarily applicable to companies. Prohibition of agreements restricting competition ,
abusive exploitation of dominant positions, control of concentrations and state aid are th e
pillars of European Union competition law.
Keywords: competition, enterprises, asociations of enterprises, agreements.
JEL Classification: K21, K33
All prohibited agreements, decisions or concerted practices are agreed and
applied by undertakings or associations of undertakings.2
The legislative text does not define the notion of "enterprise", although this
notion is used in different contexts.3
The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice has shown that article 81 (ex 85)
EC (today article 101 TFEU) has as recipients economic entities, each consisting in
a unitary organization of personal, material and immaterial elements, having an
economic purpose to produce and sell, in order maximizing profits.
As a follow-up, the Commission, in a Communication of 14 August 1990,
defined the enterprise as an organized set of human and material means, pursuing a
determined economic goal.
2. The notion of enterprise
By analyzing these definitions, it is concluded that the enterprise is an
organized resource set (not necessarily a definite legal form), being a natural
person, a legal entity or a group of at least two of them, operating as an
1 Ovidiu Horia Maican – Department of Law, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania,
2 Manolache, O., Regimul juridic al concurenței în dreptul comunitar, All Beck Publishing House,
1997, p. 6
3 Manolache, O., Drept comunitar, All Beck Publishing House, 2003, p. 299.