Economic and Social Justice Perspectives
Edited by Anne Flanagan and Maria Lillà Montagnani
Chapter 9: Antitrust and Consumer Protection: The New Regime on Unfair Commercial Practices
9. Antitrust and consumer protection: the new regime on unfair commercial practices Gustavo Ghidini and Valeria Falce INTRODUCTION 1. Competition law and consumer protection policies are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Competition in the market increases efficiency, encourages innovation, and also incentivizes product differentiation and the improved quality of goods and services provided. In this sense, competition enhances consumer welfare by providing consumers with a wider choice at competitive prices – that is, consumers make informed decisions in their preference for goods and services when they are well informed.1 Still, the two disciplines cover autonomous and independent scope and ambit of application with the natural consequence that, at their various level of intersection, they reflect both synergies and tensions. From such a starting point, this chapter aims to explore certain overlapping areas between aforesaid ‘intricately’2 connected disciplines that are reflected in the Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (hereinafter, ‘Unfair Commercial Practices Directive’ or also ‘Directive’). After a brief introduction on the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, we will identify its different functional guidelines as respectively centered on the value of consumer protection, competition law and fairness. Having examined from this H Qaqaya and G Lipmile (eds), The Effects of Anti-competitive Business Practices on Developing Countries and their Development Prospects (United Nations, 2008) vi. 2 V Dhall, ‘Competition Law And Consumer Protection: Insights Into Their Interrelationship’ in H Qaqaya and G Lipmile (eds), The Effects...
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