Elgar original reference
Edited by Manfred Neumann and Jürgen Weigand
Manfred Neumann and Jürgen Weigand Competition is a constitutive property of a market economy following immediately from the right of each individual to pursue his or her own interest. Therefore competition policy is a cornerstone of economic policy in a market economy. In fact, following the lead of US antitrust, most industrialized countries now have introduced some kind of competition policy. In particular, in the European Union competition policy has been accorded a constitutional status. As stated in Article 4 of the EC Treaty, the economic policy of the member states and the Community shall be conducted in ‘accordance with the principle of an open market economy and free competition’ and Article 3, lit g, says that competition must not be distorted, either by private restraints or by government interference. In the history of ideas, competition as a salient feature of a free society can be traced back at least to John Locke (1690) who propounded that everybody has the unalienable right to pursue his or her own happiness. This idea gathered momentum from its propagation in the Bill of Rights of Virginia and the ensuing constitution of the United States of America. Given limited resources, the endeavor of countless individuals to improve their well-being by acquiring command over goods is necessarily conducive to competition. This idea found its way into legislation of the USA by the Sherman Act of 1890 which prohibits restraint of competition in most general terms. This legislation originally found hardly any support among economists....