Comparative Competition Law

Comparative Competition Law

Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series

Edited by John Duns, Arlen Duke and Brendan Sweeney

Comparative Competition Law examines the key global issues facing competition law and policy. This volume’s specially commissioned chapters by leading writers from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia provide a synthesis of how these current issues are addressed by drawing on the approaches taken in different jurisdictions around the world.

Chapter 1: Themes

John Duns, Arlen Duke and Brendan Sweeney

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, competition and antitrust law


The growth in the number of antitrust regimes in the past 25 years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In the 1980s approximately 20 countries had some form of antitrust regulation. Enforcement was by no means consistent or wholehearted. Now over 120 jurisdictions boast an antitrust regime. While enforcement is still inconsistent, the trend towards antitrust is, when viewed broadly, nothing less than an example of global convergence. The convergence, however, is to a set of ideas not necessarily a precise set of rules. Broadly speaking, the aim of this book is to take a look at that convergence from a comparative perspective. As so many antitrust regimes have had little time to settle their rules the comparison is heavily weighted towards the developed capitalist economies, particularly the United States and the European Union, although the rules and procedures of emerging jurisdictions receive close attention in the final Part of the book. As the book is designed to be a research handbook, all chapters present descriptive material aimed at making the issues discussed accessible while also engaging with contemporary debates and issues. Of course, contrasting views on various aspects of competition law is not solely the province of interstate analysis. Vigorous, internal debate continues to be the order of the day even (and perhaps particularly) within the United States which has had over a hundred years of antitrust experience. The different approaches adopted when assessing market power provide a good example of such contrasting views or approaches.