ECA (European Competition Authorities) network is an informal network of cooperation among the National Competition Authorities of the European Economic Area (ie the EU Member States, the European Commission, the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EFTA Surveillance Authority) aiming to the exchange of views and the constructive discussion on competition issues.
ECA looks forward to improved cooperation among competition authorities and more efficient application of relevant national and European competition rules. This cooperation is developed through the organization of conferences, the establishment of working groups and the exchange of information and experiences.
Within the ECA framework, a working group on multi-jurisdictional mergers has been created. The purpose of the working group is the improvement of cooperation among competition authorities in cases where a merger is to be notified in more than one Member State (multi-jurisdictional mergers). In this context, the working group has formulated the "Procedures Guide", which defines the practice of exchange of information among ECA competition authorities. Consequently, if an ECA member received a notification of concentration which has also been notified to at least one other ECA competition authority, the authority will then notify the concentration in the rest competition authorities.
Moreover, in 2005 (replacing the relevant principles were first adopted in 2002) the network members adopted the «Principles on the application, by National Competition Authorities within the ECA, of articles 4(5) and 22 of the EC Merger Regulation». According to the above principles, a set of "obligations" is derived (the text is not legally binding).