Fourth Report on Competition Policy (addendum to the 'Eighth General Report on the Activities of the Communities'). For year 1974.
During the period covered by this report, the Commission's activities in relation to competition policy have been influenced by its concern, among others, to apply its best efforts towards a solution of the difficulties which confronted the Community as a result of inflation, of tensions affecting the markets for raw materials (especially oil), and of increasing sectoral and regional disparities. Indeed, the Community must mobilize all means available to it under Community legislation to contain inflationary pressures and to help bring about essential structural changes; in this connection, competition policy has an essential, though limited, role to play. The Commission has accordingly been especially watchful over the behaviour of undertakings so far as restrictive agreements and abuses of dominant positions may be concerned. Its object has been to prevent additional price increases by prohibiting horizontal and vertical price-fixing agreements, market-sharing agreements and agreements which voluntarily limit imports from outside the Community. Further, concerning state aids, the Commission has expressed its firm conviction that the Treaty provisions must be respected if national aids are to enable the Community to overcome effectively and at the lowest cost, our current economic difficulties, and also to avoid overbidding between Member States which would clearly lead to negative results. The general approach of the Commission in the competition policy field' and its individual measures and decisions should been seen in this context; and it is against this background also that the Commission, with the encouragement of the Council resolution of 17 December 1973, has undertaken its study into price variations recorded for a range of products in the different Member States.
Number of pages137p.
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