Edited by Ioannis Lianos and Damien Geradin
Chapter 1: Some reflections on the question of the goals of EU competition law
The literature on the goals of competition law has become a recurrent and rapidly expanding academic business. Since the well-known attack of Judge Robert Bork against the ‘populist’ antitrust of the Warren Court in United States (US) and his assertion, along with other members of the Chicago school, that antitrust should have economic efficiency (what is considered now as a total welfare standard) as a single objective, a plethora of academic articles and books in the US have challenged or supported this thesis and have advanced different theoretical frameworks on the goals of antitrust. More recently, the debate has gained prominence in Europe, with a number of publications dedicated to this topic. Although the debate in Europe is not as polarized as in the United States and has less ideological connotations, there is still disagreement over the role and extent of welfare analysis in EU competition law, as opposed to a rights and principles-based approach, and the interplay between the different goals of competition law, assuming that one adheres to goals pluralism.
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