FOREWORD : GLOBALISATION - UNIFICATION OF COMPETITION POLICIES - CONCEPT OF CONSUMER CHOICE

“Consumer choice” Is where we are all going - so let’s go together

Globalisation of business makes it important for firms to predict how their behaviour is likely to be treated in the roughly 200 nations that have competition laws. In that context, a crucial question is: are we in a position to develop a common intellectual framework that would give coherence to policy statements made on specific competition related issues and, at the same time, be acceptable, broadly, in a variety of legal systems, not necessarily based on identical assumptions? We believe that the answer is “yes”. A concept is emerging as a possible source of unification for competition policies around the globe: the concept of “consumer choice”. (The views here are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of their institutions).

Recent years have witnessed the usual type of competition-related activity on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, new regulations and guidelines have been published on horizontal and vertical relationships. In the United States, a new standard on resale price maintenance has been issued by the Supreme Court and new horizontal merger guidelines were released by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. But all these specific developments have left unanswered the fundamental policy question that should be on the lips of competition lawyers around the globe: Ultimately, what are we after? What are our fundamental goals when we apply antitrust and competition rules? Some will say this question already has been answered by our colleagues with a Chicago School

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Authors

  • General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
  • FTC:WATCH
  • University of Baltimore

Quotation

Paul Nihoul, Neil Averitt, Robert H. Lande, “Consumer choice” Is where we are all going - so let’s go together, May 2011, Concurrences N° 2-2011, Art. N° 35606, www.concurrences.com

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