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3 - Economics and competition law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Giorgio Monti
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

Introduction

Competition law in the EC is now presented, by DG Competition, as a set of rules dominated by an economic paradigm that focuses on consumer welfare. Now we explore further what an economic approach to competition law may entail. The aim of this chapter is to present an analysis of the relationship between competition law and economic learning. Given the Community's recent conversion to economics, we use US law to learn some lessons. The central argument is that, depending on which economic premises one begins with, the prescriptions for competition law change, sometimes quite drastically. This means that embracing economics is only the starting point. It is now imperative to identify which economic approach the Commission takes. The significance of economic paradigms, from an American perspective, was noted by Professor Baker in the following terms: ‘While lawyers including judges are in control of prosecutorial choices and judicial decisions … it is fair to say that, from a longer term perspective, decade-to-decade, or era-to-era, antitrust has been shaped more importantly by the arguments of economists.’ This position is too sanguine, as there is also a political dimension that drives the adoption of economic theories. A novel economic theory should be consistent with the judicial and enforcement policy of the time in order to have a chance of success, and transitions to new economic paradigms are often preceded by policy commitments that go in a similar direction. In short, economic paradigms change when political paradigms shift.

Type
Chapter
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EC Competition Law , pp. 53 - 88
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Economics and competition law
  • Giorgio Monti, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: EC Competition Law
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805523.004
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  • Economics and competition law
  • Giorgio Monti, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: EC Competition Law
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805523.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Economics and competition law
  • Giorgio Monti, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: EC Competition Law
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805523.004
Available formats
×