The meaning of undertaking within Article 81 EC
This chapter further explores Article 81 EC, particularly the concept of undertaking. Article 81 EC is concerned with the efficiency given by the identity of the addressees of the provision, two of which are specified as undertakings and associations of undertakings. The concept of undertaking serves a dual purpose in the system of Article 81: it makes it possible to determine the categories of actors to which the competition rules apply; and it serves to establish the identity to which certain behaviour is attributable. Moreover, Höfner uses the idea of economic activity to identify the addressees of competition law and the Court suggests three cumulative elements of economic activity: offer of goods or services; the bearing of economic or financial risk; and the potential to make profit. The offer of goods or services is required since work, consumption, and regulation alone do not satisfy the requirement. The potential to make profit must exist and it is impossible to gain profit from public goods. These elements of economic activity help in providing a framework for understanding some confusing and complex case law.
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