A “dominant position”
An undertaking will be considered dominant if it is in a position of economic strength which affords it the power to behave to an appreciable extent independently of competitors, customers and consumers.
An undertaking may be able to behave independently from other market participants as a result of high market shares (40% or more), or of specific characteristics of the market (e.g. the existence of barriers to entry or expansion, economies of scale, brand or customer loyalty). The assessment of dominance involves considering and balancing all of these factors.
The concept of “collective dominance”
Two or more independent undertakings can jointly hold a dominant position where, from an economic point of view, they present themselves or act together on a particular market as a collective entity enabling them to act independently of their competitors. No formal link between the undertakings is necessary, e.g. in markets with high levels of transparency.