Table of Contents

The Goals of Competition Law

The Goals of Competition Law

ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Daniel Zimmer

What are the normative foundations of competition law? That is the question at the heart of this book. Leading scholars consider whether this branch of law serves just one or more than one goal, and, if it serves to protect unfettered competition as such, how this goal relates to other objectives such as the promotion of economic welfare.

Chapter 4: The Multiple Personalities of EU Competition Law: Time for a Comprehensive Debate on its Objectives

Laura Parret

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, competition and antitrust law, law and economics


Laura Parret* THE EVOLVING OBJECTIVES OF EC COMPETITION POLICY Introduction 1 1.1 This chapter aims to make a contribution to the debate on the objectives of EC competition law; its purpose is not to give an exhaustive historical overview but to show how many different objectives can be identified. Multiple objectives still exist and they are not a thing of the past as is sometimes suggested. The objectives of a system of competition law have a clear impact on legislation and decision-making, so the debate is not merely theoretical.1 A number of specific points are made with the purpose of challenging some often-expressed ideas about objectives. One, for example, is that the focus on consumers is not only the result of the recent more economic approach (below section 3), the consumer has been part of competition law since the earliest case law of the EU Courts. * Dr iur (Tilburg), Belgian Competition Council and Senior Lecturer of Law, Tilburg University, The Netherlands. A longer version of this chapter was published as an article entitled ‘Shouldn’t we know what we are protecting? Yes we should! A plea for a comprehensive and solid debate on the objectives of EU competition law’ in [2010] European Competition Journal, 6(2), 339–376. It was also published as a TILEC Discussion Paper in a previous version. All views expressed are strictly personal. The present paper was closed on 1 September 2010. 1 In the article referred to in the previous note, this point is elaborated further...

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