Edited by Josef Drexl, Warren S. Grimes, Clifford A. Jones, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Edward T. Swaine
Chapter 4: Is Competition Law Part of Consumer Law?
Paul L. Nihoul INTRODUCTION 1 I would like to thank the authors of the preceding chapters for their important contributions to the role of consumer choice in competition law. In their contributions, they have sketched a proposal to establish a rational link between the market process – the process of economic competition – and a category of people: the consumers. The proposals appear to me to be a logical step, me being a European academic spending my professional life studying the decisions adopted by the European Commission and the judgments issued by the European courts in the field of competition. Both types of instances indeed emphasize in the documents they produce that competition should aim at producing opportunities for consumers.1 The proposals made also strike a sympathetic cord within me, since my main academic interests are precisely competition law and consumer protection. The authors could not find a more sympathetic commentator to their proposals eager to work in the same direction. In this context, I will ask three questions relating to three important concepts that might have to be worked upon if we want to further the work on the said proposals, which have been submitted in the preceding chapters. 2 THE CONCEPT OF COMPETITION I would certainly agree that competition is necessary to provide consumers with choice. To me, it appears that real choice for consumers is equivalent See, e.g. Commission Decision (EC) 2007/53, Case COMP/C-3/37.792 – Microsoft  OJ L 32, p. 3, para 706; Case T-201/104 Microsoft v Commission [2007...
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