Table of Contents

More Common Ground for International Competition Law?

More Common Ground for International Competition Law?

ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Josef Drexl, Warren S. Grimes, Clifford A. Jones, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Edward T. Swaine

In recent years, an impressive proliferation of competition laws has been seen around the world. Whilst this development may lead to greater diversity of approaches, economic arguments may promote convergence. The contributions to this book look at a number of the most topical issues by asking whether the competition world is turning more towards convergence or diversity. These issues include, among others, the changing role of economics in times of economic crises and political change, the introduction of criminal sanctions, resale-price maintenance, unilateral conduct and the application of competition law to intellectual property and state-owned enterprises.

Chapter 4: Is Competition Law Part of Consumer Law?

Paul L. Nihoul

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law

Extract

Paul L. Nihoul INTRODUCTION 1 I would like to thank the authors of the preceding chapters for their important contributions to the role of consumer choice in competition law. In their contributions, they have sketched a proposal to establish a rational link between the market process – the process of economic competition – and a category of people: the consumers. The proposals appear to me to be a logical step, me being a European academic spending my professional life studying the decisions adopted by the European Commission and the judgments issued by the European courts in the field of competition. Both types of instances indeed emphasize in the documents they produce that competition should aim at producing opportunities for consumers.1 The proposals made also strike a sympathetic cord within me, since my main academic interests are precisely competition law and consumer protection. The authors could not find a more sympathetic commentator to their proposals eager to work in the same direction. In this context, I will ask three questions relating to three important concepts that might have to be worked upon if we want to further the work on the said proposals, which have been submitted in the preceding chapters. 2 THE CONCEPT OF COMPETITION I would certainly agree that competition is necessary to provide consumers with choice. To me, it appears that real choice for consumers is equivalent See, e.g. Commission Decision (EC) 2007/53, Case COMP/C-3/37.792 – Microsoft [2004] OJ L 32, p. 3, para 706; Case T-201/104 Microsoft v Commission [2007...

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