Economic Theory and Competition Law
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Economic Theory and Competition Law

  • ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Josef Drexl, Laurence Idot and Joël Monéger

The context for this book is the increasingly complex relationship between economic theory and competition law which gives rise to lively political and academic debate on the direction competition law should take in a more global and innovation-oriented market place.
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Chapter 17: Efficiency in the Enforcement Policy of the French Conseil de la Concurrence

Bruno Lasserre


17. Efficiency in the enforcement policy of the French Conseil de la concurrence Bruno Lasserre* 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Defining Efficiency I would like to open with a couple of thoughts on the meaning of the word ‘efficiency’. What does it mean to be efficient? Certainly, being ‘efficient’ is more than merely being ‘effective’. Being ‘effective’, or ‘effectif’ in French, means being capable of producing effects. Being ‘efficient’ goes further than that. On the one hand, it means being capable of bringing about the desired effects, of performing a predefined task. In that sense, ‘efficient’ corresponds to the French word ‘efficace’. Yet, on the other hand, it also relates to how well one brings about these desired effects, to how well one performs that task. In that sense, ‘efficient’ corresponds to another French term: ‘efficient’. This definition is reflected in economics. A basic economic view of efficiency is that a certain allocation is more efficient when it increases the net value of resources. Now, I will not delve into the subtleties of Pareto or Kaldor-Hicks types of efficiency – it is not my place and I would not want to offend serious economists. However, I would like to use the following basic definition of efficiency: one’s aptitude to perform one’s task with the least waste. And I would submit that this notion is the driving force...

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