Table of Contents

Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm

Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm

Elgar original reference

Edited by Michael Dietrich and Jackie Krafft

This unique Handbook explores both the economics of the firm and the theory of the firm, two areas which are traditionally treated separately in the literature. On the one hand, the former refers to the structure, organization and boundaries of the firm, while the latter is devoted to the analysis of behaviours and strategies in particular market contexts. The novel concept underpinning this authoritative volume is that these two areas closely interact, and that a framework must be articulated in order to illustrate how linkages can be created.

Chapter 34: Cartel and Monopoly Policy

Hugues Bouthinon-Dumas and Frédéric Marty

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, economics and finance, industrial economics, industrial organisation, institutional economics


Hugues Bouthinon-Dumas and Frédéric Marty 34.1 INTRODUCTION Firm strategies cannot be analysed without taking into consideration the legal framework that governs the relationships between economic agents, especially competition law. As a consequence, firms have to manoeuvre through a complex universe, taking account of both the rules of the economic game and the legal ones. Our purpose is to analyse the legal treatment of anticompetitive practices (agreements and concerted practices that restrict competition and abuse of a dominant position), which are at the heart of modern competition law (in the American context generally referred to as ‘antitrust law’ and in the European one as ‘competition law’). However, we must keep in mind that competition law also covers the control of vertical practices, merger policy (cf. Chapter 28 in this volume), control of state aids and, in some countries, the prohibition of unfair competition. Considering competition goals is essential for understanding enforcement of competition law. Even if the wording of the general competition rules seems to be fairly similar, the consequences of competition law may vary considerably among countries (and across time periods), revealing differences in their underlying principles and purposes. Therefore, it is essential to identify the intentions of the law-makers and the priorities of competition authorities. Competition policies and decisional practices are closely dependent on various and sometimes conflicting views related to what competition should be and how firms should develop and interact. This chapter is focused on the examples of the United States of America and the...

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