In continental Europe, the principles of competition have developed into lex mercatoria. The constitutiones juris metallici of Wenceslas II of Bohemia between 1283 and 1305, which condemned the combination of mineral traders who increased prices, are examples of legislation anchored in the principles of competition; the statutes of the city of Florence in 1322 and 1325 followed Zeno`s legislation against state monopolies; and under Emperor Charles V, a law was passed in the Holy Roman Empire “to avoid losses due to monopolies and inadmissible treaties that many traders and craftsmen made in the Netherlands.” In 1553, Henry VIII of England reinstated customs duties on foodstuffs in order to stabilize prices in the face of fluctuations in overseas supply. Thus, the legislation here indicates that the EU and UK competition rules focus on the following areas: each sets out certain conditions that must be met in order for the agreement to be exempted from the block exemption. Those conditions may include, for example, conditions relating to the market shares held by the parties and the types of restrictions contained in the agreement. A number of EU block exemptions have been introduced into UK national law, with some minor changes, and will continue to apply after Brexit under UK competition law. This quick guide provides an overview of EU and UK competition law. It is clear that professional meetings with an anti-competitive agenda should absolutely not take place. During social meetings between competitors, the main risk to respect for competition would be to assert that informal social meetings constitute a forum for the exchange of information and/or competitive cooperation. Competition law gained new recognition in Europe in the interwar period, when Germany passed its first antitrust law in 1923 and Sweden and Norway passed similar laws in 1925 and 1926 respectively.
However, with the Great Depression of 1929, competition law disappeared from Europe and was revived after World War II, when, under pressure from the United States, Britain and Germany were the first European countries to enact full-fledged competition laws. At regional level, Community competition law has its origins in the Agreement of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany in 1951, after the Second World War. The agreement was aimed at preventing Germany from dominating coal and steel production, believing that this domination had contributed to the outbreak of war. Article 65 of the Agreement prohibited cartels and Article 66 concerning concentrations or mergers and the abuse of a dominant position by undertakings.  This was the first time that competition principles had been included in a plurilateral regional agreement and that the trans-European model of competition had been founded. In 1957, competition rules were introduced into the Treaty of Rome, also known as the EC Treaty and founded by the European Economic Community (EEC). The Treaty of Rome established the adoption of competition law as one of the main objectives of the EEC by introducing “a system to ensure that competition is not distorted in the common market”. Article 85, which prohibited anti-competitive agreements, and Article 86, which prohibits the misuse of a dominant position, define the two essential provisions relating to Community competition law for undertakings. The Treaty also established principles of competition law for the Member States, article 90 laying down provisions on State aid to public undertakings and Article 92. .