EU Competition Law and US Antitrust Law
New Horizons in Competition Law and Economics series
Chapter 8: Concluding remarks
A dynamic market character spurs competition on various levels. To be successful in many types of industry, firms must offer customers new and improved products and services, based on modern and efficient technologies. Older or inferior products will be disregarded by customers or only sellable at low prices. But the causal relation works both ways: dynamic competition stimulates technological development and leads to efficiencies. The conditions in the innovation process affect both market structures and corporate strategies and decision making. These conditions consequently influence the execution of competition law too. An important role of competition policy, as guardian of consumer welfare, is to safeguard a dynamic competitive process, rather than focusing on competition in static terms in the sales of current products. This book has examined the legal standards for the protection of competition in the innovation process, evaluating the legal content and its underlying economic rationale. At the centre of the study has been the innovation market concept, the most notable legal framework for this kind of antitrust analysis. Various situations have been addressed, in which a transaction could restrict competition in the R&D process by limiting market participants’ incentives and abilities for continued product development and future competition. Another very important dynamic dimension, though mainly outside the scope of this work, concerns the way in which rich opportunities for innovation affect the standards for competition in product markets. An overall question, then, is to what extent antitrust policy should relax static (price) competition concerns in reliance on...
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