Competition Policy and the Economic Approach
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Competition Policy and the Economic Approach

Foundations and Limitations

Edited by Josef Drexl, Wolfgang Kerber and Rupprecht Podszun

This outstanding collection of original essays brings together some of the leading experts in competition economics, policy and law. They examine what lies at the core of the ‘economic approach to competition law’ and deal with its normative and institutional limitations. In recent years the ‘more economic approach’ has led to a modernisation of competition law throughout the world. This book comprehensively examines for the first time, the foundations and limitations of the approach and will be of great interest to scholars of competition policy no matter what discipline.
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Chapter 10: The Impact of Innovation – Comments on Uwe Cantner and Wolfgang Kerber

Andreas Heinemann


Andreas Heinemann 1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS Evolutionary economics is a school of economic thinking which transfers basic concepts of biology to socio-cultural phenomena. Keywords are variation and selection: the competitive process is one of trial and error in which different strategies compete with each other. Many new ideas are tried and tested on markets. Markets decide on selection: only some of these ideas are successful; others are sorted out. Nobody can tell beforehand which ideas will survive. The evolutionary approach is genuinely dynamic: the focus is on the economic development in time, and not so much on the results in a given moment. Prominent precursors of the evolutionary school are Schumpeter and Hayek. Schumpeter criticized the ideal of perfect competition and underlined the role of entrepreneurs in the process of creative destruction.1 Hayek explained the success of economic strategies, routines and institutions as the result of a discovery procedure and not of rational construction. In our context, the contribution of evolutionary economics to competition law is to be scrutinized. Whereas Uwe Cantner describes the general framework, Wolfgang Kerber makes specific policy proposals. In section 2 of these comments, the central subject will be discussed which is the impact of evolutionary thinking on merger control. In section 3, the consequences for Articles101 and 102 TFEU will be explored. Before drawing final conclusions, the consistency of evolutionary thinking with ‘interventionist’ competition policy has to be investigated. 202 M2555 - DREXL PRINT.indd 202 23/03/2011 16:03 The impact of innovation 203 2. THE IMPACT...

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