More Common Ground for International Competition Law?
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More Common Ground for International Competition Law?

Edited by Josef Drexl, Warren S. Grimes, Clifford A. Jones, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Edward T. Swaine

In recent years, an impressive proliferation of competition laws has been seen around the world. Whilst this development may lead to greater diversity of approaches, economic arguments may promote convergence. The contributions to this book look at a number of the most topical issues by asking whether the competition world is turning more towards convergence or diversity. These issues include, among others, the changing role of economics in times of economic crises and political change, the introduction of criminal sanctions, resale-price maintenance, unilateral conduct and the application of competition law to intellectual property and state-owned enterprises.
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Chapter 3: Protecting Consumer Choice: Competition and Consumer Protection Law Together

Neil W. Averitt


Neil W. Averitt* INTRODUCTION 1 Another chapter in this volume has discussed the role of choice in antitrust, and has suggested that competition law should begin to more explicitly protect the non-price qualities of variety, choice, and innovation, as well as protecting competitive prices per se.1 This chapter concurs in that assessment, and will propose a larger context into which that suggestion will fit. It proposes that the concept of choice actually underlies both antitrust and consumer protection law. Viewing both of these bodies of law together in the larger, more inclusive perspective of ‘choice’ will lead to a number of enforcement advantages as well as to benefits for consumers. It will integrate the two bodies of law; confirm the validity of the choice perspective of antitrust; and from the new context it will suggest some particular legal principles of competition law and possible new areas of enforcement interest.2 The discussion that follows is divided into five principal sections: What * The author is a member of the planning staff at the US Federal Trade Commission. The views expressed here are the author’s own, and are not necessarily the views of the FTC or of any individual Commissioner. 1 See RH Lande, ‘Consumer Choice as the Best Way to Recenter the Mission of Competition Law’, Ch. 2, above. For a more elaborate treatment see NW Averitt and RH Lande, ‘Using the “Consumer Choice” Approach to Antitrust Law’ (2007) 74 Antitrust LJ 175, cfm?abstract_id=1121459. 2 For a...

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