- ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Daniel Zimmer
Chapter 6: Thinking Inside the Box: Why Competition as a Process is a Sui Generis Right – a Methodological Observation
6. Thinking inside the box: why competition as a process is a sui generis right – a methodological observation Oles Andriychuk* 10 1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to substantiate the argument that competition is one of the core fundamentals of liberal democracy and the economic constitution. As such it has to be publicly treated as an independent value, separately from the outcomes which it may deliver for consumers, economic efficiency, market integration or industrial growth. The normative part of this argument is that the process of competition should be protected in its own right and that traditional statistically significant criteria for measuring the performance of competition like growth, wealth and development should not be seen as either sufficient or even decisive benchmarks of a successful antitrust policy. The normative claim thereby is that economic competition should be perceived as a sui generis right. The positive part of the argument that competition should be considered as an independent economic value is twofold. It shows (a) why exactly the protection of the economic aspects of competition is so important for societies with a market-based economy (be it in its libertarian or communitarian version); and (b) that for the sake of logical coherence and conceptual clarity the process of competition should be methodologically disentangled from other important (welfare-centric) economic interests and explored as a phenomenon which, though dialectically connected with * Oles Andriychuk is a postdoctoral research fellow at the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia. The author is...
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