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Auditors look into enforcement of EU competition rules

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Auditors look into enforcement of EU competition rules

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager - Photo © European Union 2018

(LUXEMBOURG) - The European Court of Auditors announced Tuesday it is to conduct an audit of whether the European Commission has been effective in enforcing EU competition rules in the Single Market.

EU competition rules cover various forms of anti-competitive behaviour, the control of mergers and other areas where action by a public authority may be necessary to preserve competition.

The principal EU competition rules are contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The overarching aim of EU competition policy is to keep the Single Market open and efficient, ensure a level playing field for companies to do business and help to reduce prices for the benefit of consumers.

The auditors will examine how well the Commission has performed in enforcing EU competition rules through its own antitrust proceedings, its merger control and through cooperation with the national competition authorities of the Member States.

"Competition rules are of significant importance to the EU citizens and the EU economy. They are supposed to result in consumers benefiting from lower prices and a greater variety of products and services because companies can do business on a level playing field.

"This is crucial for the proper functioning of the EU's Single Market," said Alex Brenninkmeijer, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. "We will seek to identify strengths and weaknesses in the Commission's work, highlight areas where changes could be beneficial, and assess how well the Commission has communicated its objectives and the impact of its work to EU citizens and other stakeholders."

The auditors will be conducting interviews with Commission officials and will review various Commission documents relating to its competition policy enforcement activities. They will also visit the competition authorities of some Member States.

The audit report is expected to be published in mid-2019.

European Court of Auditors

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