- Rewriting competition law from an economic perspective
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: SEO
- SEO Discussion Paper
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
What is the goal of competition law? This varies depending on the perspective taken. From an
economic perspective the goal is the protection of consumer welfare, while from a legal
perspective the goal is the protection of competition. These perspectives differ, perhaps not so
much in theory, but they do in practice. Two main causes are discussed. Firstly, from the legal
point of view it is presently not possible to simultaneously consider the advantages and disadvantages of a merger or agreement and therefore the case in its entirety, and secondly, in
recent years case law has led to the use of checklists, much to the detriment of common sense.
Thus, we come to the question of how this juridization of the application of competition law can
be stopped. Taking the economic perspective, this paper argues that competition law should be
rewritten to better ensure welfare protection. It is shown how competition law could be rewritten
to include the welfare criterion in the law. Of course rewriting European competition law is
unrealistic given the trouble it would take to change the Treaty. The goal of this rewriting exercise
is, therefore, to rethink the formal goal and the wording of competition law.
- 18 May 2011
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