Edited by Ariel Ezrachi
Chapter 6: The role of NGOs in competition law enforcement
Consumers are the raison d’être of all economic management activities. The enforcement of competition law results in benefits for both consumers and the whole economy. Consumer welfare gains from competition enforcement are now widely recognised. Consumers gain when they can choose between efficient producers based on merit. On the other hand, they lose when competition and innovation are stifled through collusion, the abuse of market power or increased concentration on the market. It is on this basis that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) pursuing consumer welfare goals have seen fit to devote resources to influencing policies towards promoting a healthy competition culture. NGO in this context refers to any non-profit, voluntary group, which can either be organised at a national or international level, performing a variety of functions aimed at bringing consumers’ concerns to governments as well as advocating and monitoring consumer-oriented public policies. In most cases, such NGOs would also go beyond this to provide analysis and expertise, which would serve as early warning mechanisms in monitoring and implementation of the policies. This chapter focuses on the role that NGOs working on competition issues play in facilitating competition, and various avenues through which NGOs can involve themselves in competition advocacy, legislation and enforcement.
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