Whose Regulation, Which Competition?
ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Hanns Ullrich
Comment: Controlling dominance or protecting competition: from individual abuses to responsibility for competition
Peter Behrens* 1 INTRODUCTION The author has submitted a very rich paper touching upon many of the fundamental problems of competition law in general and of the rules applicable to dominant firms in particular. The chapter takes a comparative approach to European and American antitrust law. It also infuses some typical French conceptions which should be welcomed in the hope that they further stimulate discussion. For reasons of concision, this comment will be limited to a critical reflection on some of the most fundamental issues raised in the chapter. The main objective is to put the chapter into the perspective of the general topic of Part III of this volume. 2 OBJECTIVES OF COMPETITION LAW A first fundamental point raised in the chapter relates to the question whether competition is an objective in itself or an instrument for the achievement of certain objectives which may not exclusively be related to competition. In this context, the author presents a juxtaposition of the contemporary American school of antitrust which is said to be based on the Law and Economics movement, on the one hand, and, on the other, the European school of competition law which is said to go far beyond the pure logic of competition by including other objectives, such as the protection of competitors, consumers, social interests, environmental interests and so on. First of all, I am not convinced that the protection of competitors or consumers are objectives beyond the proper scope of competition law; it is, however, precisely this...