Chapter 8: Concurrency or Convergence? Competition and Regulation Under the Competition Act 1998 – Tom Sharpe QC, Chairman’s Comments – Geoffrey Horton
In preparing this chapter I reverted to a book written by David Boies entitled Public Control of Business (Little Brown, 1977). In his chapter on the application of anti-trust laws and policies to regulated markets he says this: The interface between anti-trust and regulation is a veritable no-man’s land for students and practitioners alike. Since the theories of anti-trust and regulation reflect differing assumptions about Government intervention into the marketplace, it is often difficult to rationalise their impact on particular industry behaviour. The anti-trust laws, to borrow a phrase, are a brooding omnipresence, with a pervasive, almost constitutional meaning in our jurisprudence. Direct economic regulation (which is entrusted to agencies rather than the Courts) may supplant the anti-trust laws and specific industries for carefully carved-out purposes. But at the edges, these purposes thin out and the anti-trust laws inevitably reappear in the background. At this point it is no small matter to blend the policies of the two conflicting regimes into an overall regulatory purpose that preserves the values of both.
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