Competition means that businesses are under constant pressure to be better than their competitors so as to win customers. Competition stimulates innovation and technical progress, and this improves consumer welfare. Consumer interests are thus at the core of competition policy. In a competitive market, each business strives to “be the best” and to attract consumers by cutting its prices and increasing the quality of its products or services. With consumers’ help, authorities like the European Commission can take more efficient action to prevent or prohibit anti-competitive practices which are... sometimes found on the market place. The European Commission monitors: agreements between companies which restrict competition, like cartels; abuses of a dominant position, where a major player tries to squeeze competitors out of the market; mergers, when companies join forces permanently or temporarily; financial support (State aid) for companies paid by EU governments.