EUs konkurransepolitikk i 2023

EUs konkurransepolitikk i 2023

Rapport fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet, Rådet, Den europeiske økonomiske og sosiale komite og Regionskomiteen. Rapport om konkurransepolitikken 2023

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Report on Competition Policy 2023

Rapport lagt fram av Kommisjonen 6.3.2024

Nærmere omtale

BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens rapport)

The Annual Competition Report of 2023 is addressed by the European Commission (Commission) to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. It describes key developments in EU competition policy and enforcement during 2023.

The year 2023 was another challenging year for the EU. Russia’s continued war of aggression against Ukraine and increasing geo-political tensions reminded us again how interconnected the world is, not least the EU with its neighbouring countries. The Commission took swift and resolute action, including measures in State aid, to alleviate the negative effects on the EU economy caused by these events.

There were also positive developments in 2023, notably the fact that the EU economy proved resilient to the impact of Russia’s continued aggression towards Ukraine. By the end of 2023, EU energy prices fell below their peak in 2022. EU competition policy was one of many tools successfully used for the continued crisis response, the economic recovery, as well as delivering on the green and digital transitions.

The digital revolution has expanded the global reach of firms, not only for ´Big Techs´ but for all companies. Digitalisation drives economic growth across all economic sectors. But rapid market developments create new challenges for competition enforcers. One of the main challenges the Commission faces – in both antitrust and merger control enforcement – is how to define relevant markets when confronted with dynamic developments in markets. This is why the Commission continued working on a new Market Definition Notice in 2023. These market developments and challenges also led the Commission to launch an evaluation of its investigative and decision-making powers for the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU in 2022 as set out in Regulation 1/2003 1 . This work continued in 2023. The Commission is also drafting new Guidelines on exclusionary abuses of dominance under Article 102 TFEU.

Close cooperation between competition authorities across jurisdictions is more important than ever. In November 2023, the Commission ordered Illumina to unwind its acquisition of GRAIL 2 , both US companies. Throughout the case, the Commission stayed in close contact with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that had similar competition concerns.

State aid policy was also challenged by global and political trends. Building on the Temporary Crisis Framework 3 , the Commission adopted the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF) 4 to also accommodate support measures in sectors which are key for the transition to a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan. While geopolitical developments may challenge EU interests, the EU must remain true to the fundamental logic of State aid control - to prevent that State aid undermines the Single Market. Competitiveness comes from competition, not subsidies, and public funds should not finance investments that the private sector would be able to make itself. This is why the TCTF rules that enable support to key sectors are limited in time and include strict safeguards. The partial phase-out of the TCTF’s crisis sections in late 2023 and the scheduled phase-out of the remaining crisis sections in 2024 send a strong signal to Member States and companies to this effect. In response to a request from the European Council that the Commission ‘report to the Council on the impact of the current State aid policy on the integrity of the Single Market as well as on the EU’s global competitiveness’ 5 . This Report contains a comprehensive overview and analysis of State aid and its impact on competition in the Single Market and on EU competitiveness (see Section 6).

In 2023, the Commission has shown when and how EU competition policy must adapt to keep EU markets fair, competitive, and open for the benefit of businesses and consumers alike. The Commission will continue to do so going forward.

Moreover, as of May 2023, the Commission applies the new rules of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) 6  to keep digital markets open and contestable. A full report of the activities undertaken by the European Commission in the context of the DMA in 2023 is published in parallel to this report, as foreseen in Article 35 DMA. And in October 2023, the notification obligations under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) 7  entered into force to address market distortions caused by foreign subsidies.