EU Commission report on European competitiveness

The European Commission issued its Annual Report on Competition Policy for 2008. The report provides a summary of the most important developments with regards to EU competition policy and focuses on major enforcement actions. Furthermore, the ways in which tools of competition policy have been applied to combat the financial crisis are outlined and the benefits to consumers of competition policy are underlined. For the first time, the 2008 Annual Report includes a special chapter on a topic considered to be of particular importance in the field of competition policy. The topic chosen is ”Cartels and consumers”. In 2008, the Commission fined 34 undertakings in seven cartel decisions. In cases such as the Banana cartel, consumers directly suffered from higher prices until the Commission broke up the price fixing cartel.