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 15: Antitrust Pluralism and Justice – Comment on Al-Ameen

Michal S. Gal and Eran Fish

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

Extract

Michal S Gal* and Eran Fish** 1 INTRODUCTION: BASIC CONDITIONS FOR A LEGAL FRAMEWORK  Competition law is potentially driven by, and can promote, a multitude of goals. Often these goals go in the same direction, so that furthering one furthers all. For example, prohibiting hard-core cartels furthers consumer welfare, total welfare, efficiency, and fairness. This is an easy case. However, in some cases the goals, and the rights created and protected by them, might clash. Take, for example, a merger in which distributive justice and efficiency considerations might lead to different results. This is where the previous chapter by Mr Al-Ameen1 (hereafter referred to as ‘the chapter’) fits in. He has taken upon himself an important and formidable task – to try and create a framework for choosing among and balancing between the different goals that competition law promotes in cases in which they clash. His basic premise is that we do not have to choose one goal over the other, but that competition law can promote a multitude of goals in each case by balancing among them. He then develops a framework for choosing and balancing. Accordingly, rather than holding a single ideology and setting goals a priori, the proposed approach allows us to create a case-specific balance in every case. It is thus based on the recognition of the importance of a plurality of values. Let us start by saying that accommodating a multitude of goals rather than choosing among them, holds, at least in theory, important promise. By...

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