Article 177: Prohibition of Anti-Competitive Business Conduct

  1.         A Member State shall, within its jurisdiction, prohibit as being anti-competitive business conduct, the following:

(a) agreements between enterprises, decisions by associations of enterprises, and concerted practices by enterprises which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the Community;

(b)        actions by which an enterprise abuses its dominant position within the Community; or

(c) any other like conduct by enterprises whose object or effect is to frustrate the benefits expected from the establishment of the CSME.

  1.         Anti-competitive business conduct within the meaning of paragraph 1 includes the following:

(a)        the direct or indirect fixing of purchase or selling prices,

(b) the limitation or control of production, markets, investment or technical development;

(c)        the artificial dividing up of markets or restriction of supply sources;

(d) the application of unequal conditions to parties undertaking equivalent engagements in commercial transactions thereby causing a competitive disadvantage;

(e) making the conclusion of a contract subject to the acceptance by the other party to the contract of additional obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial practice, have no connection with the subject matter of the contract;

(f)         unauthorised denial of access to networks or essential infrastructure; (g)        predatory pricing;

(h)        price discrimination;

(i)         loyalty discounts or concessions;

(j)         exclusionary vertical restrictions; and

(k)        bid-rigging.

  1.         Subject to Article 168, a Member State shall ensure that all agreements and decisions within the meaning of paragraph 1 of this Article shall be null and void within its jurisdiction.
  1.         An enterprise shall not be treated as engaging in anti-competitive business conduct if it establishes that the activity complained of:

(a)        contributes to:

(i)         the improvement of production or distribution of goods and services;


(ii) the promotion of technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit;

(b) imposes  on  the  enterprises  affected  only  such  restrictions  as  are indispensable to  the  attainment  of  the  objectives  mentioned  in  sub- paragraph (a); or

(c) does not afford the enterprise engaged in the activity the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the market for goods or services concerned.