Competence Allocation in International Competition Policy
Chapter 1: Introduction
The governance of global competition represents a highly topical issue. It is connected to the more general debate about globalisation although, in times like these, an ubiquitous meaning is ascribed to this term. Depending on one’s perspective, globalisation either fuels a beneficial process towards more world welfare or destroys local welfare and social relations. Concerning economic policy, however, globalisation is often discussed in terms of the loss of national and regional governance capacity. This book addresses the effects of globalisation on the governance of a particular field of economic policy: competition policy. The globalisation of markets and competition belongs to the major trends within the more general phenomenon of overall globalisation. According to consensual economic insight, competitive markets generally represent the best available coordination mechanism for economic activities. More precisely, workable competitive markets contribute to optimal allocation, innovation dynamics, consumer sovereignty, economic freedom, and flexibility and responsiveness of the economy. In doing so, material welfare becomes maximised compared to other available coordination mechanisms. In this context, the international spread of competitive markets implies a higher welfare potential for the world economy. Or, in other words, the advantages of market economy and the division of labour do not cease at historically and politically defined borders. However, competitive markets need an accompanying governance in order to prevent the self-destruction of competition. Competition puts pressure on the participating actors, in particular on enterprises, and it is this pressure which is predominantly responsible for the efficiency and welfare gains due to competitive markets. The...