Foundations and Limitations
Edited by Josef Drexl, Wolfgang Kerber and Rupprecht Podszun
In the past ten years, competition policy has undergone tremendous change. On the surface, the rules remained the same: cartels are prohibited, companies shall not abuse their dominant positions and big mergers are reviewed by competition authorities. Yet, the wording of laws does not tell the whole story. Enforcement did change, and so did the general framework that underlies the rules on antitrust. The change in competition policy has been labelled ‘more economic approach’ in the European Union: it stands for the integration of the findings of modern industrial economics into rule- and decision-making on anti-competitive behaviour. Today, this economic approach is well enough established to review it in fundamental ways. What are the foundations and limitations of this approach? What are the open and contentious questions that it raises? What additional impulses may competition policy get from economics in the future? And, finally, what are the institutional aspects and the political economy of the paradigm shift towards ‘more economics’? This book aims to answer these questions. Mario Monti, former European Commissioner for Competition, said: ‘To develop an economic interpretation of EU competition rules was, indeed, one of my main objectives when I took office’. This he has achieved. In 1999, the Directorate General for Competition published a White Paper on Modernization of Competition Law Rules with some first ideas on such an interpretation. The process gained momentum when, in 2002, the Court of First Instance quashed three merger decisions of the Directorate criticizing the lack of economic reasoning on...