The notion of relevant, ?significant market' in the sense of EU law and the jurisprudence of the court in Luxembourg

Author:Augustin Fuerea
Position:Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University of Bucharest (e-mail: augustinfuerea@yahoo.com).
Pages:100-109
LESIJ NO. XXIII, VOL. 2/2016
THE NOTION OF RELEVANT, SIGNIFICANT MARKET IN THE
SENSE OF EU LAW AND THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE COURT
IN LUXEMBOURG
Augustin FUEREA*
Abstract
Article 102 TFEU prohibits the abusive use of a dominant position in which an enterpr ise might
find itself, at one time. It should be noted that th e Treaty does not prohibit the dominant position in
which a company might find itself, but it disapproves with its misuse. To fall under the incidence of the
article, the enterpr ise must find itself in a dominant position on the internal market or on a substantial
part of it a nd abuse of that position. What is important in the correct application of art.102 TFEU is
to identify the significant and relevant char acter of the internal market. For this rea son, we bring to
the forefront of attention the meaning given by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg to the notion of
significant market, but also the meaning that the Eur opean Commission gives to the same notion.
Thus, the analysis helps identifying those features tha t are necessary for the cor rect app lication of
provisions of Article 102 TFEU in all Member States of the European Union.
Keywords: Article 102 TFEU; significant market; the European Union; the jurisprudence of the
Court of Justice of the European Union; the European Commission
1. Introductory considerations
Pursuant to Article 102 TFEU, any
abusive use by one or more enterprises of a
dominant position within the common
market or on a substantial part of it is
incompatible with the internal market and
prohibited in so far, as it may affect trade
between Member States.
Thus, the Article does not prohibit the
dominant position in which a company
might find itself, but it opposes to its misuse.
The dominant position was defined
(...) as a position of eco nomic strength from
which a company benefits and which
enables it to prevent effective co mpetition
being maintained on a given market, giving
it the possibility to behave, to an appreciable
* Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest (e -mail:
augustinfuerea@yahoo.com).
extent, independently of competitors, its
clients and ulti mately, consumers. This
notion of independence is related to the
degree of competitive pressure exercised by
that enterprise. Dominance entails that these
competitive constraints are not sufficiently
effective and therefore that co mpany enjoys
power on a substantial market, for a certain
period. This means that the company
decisions are largely insensitive to the
actions and reactio ns of the competitors,
customers and to a final analysis, of the
consumers. The Commission may consider
that effective press ures of th e competition
are missing, altho ugh there is still so me
actual or potential competition. In general, a
dominant position derives from a
combination of several factors which, taken

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