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This thesis studies the uses of the notion of competition in legal discourse. Taking as its object a field generally considered as technical - the law of anti-competitive practices -, it intends to demonstrate how competition law participates in a significant way in the institutionalization of competition, understood both as a set of business practices and as a political fact. The notion of competition remains closely associated, through consumer welfare, with the general interest. However, as the analysis of legal discourse shows, ordinary business practice remains far from this image: cartels, monopolies, oligopolies and monopsony constitute the daily market structures with which competition authorities and judges are confronted. Yet competition law strives to make this everyday reality socially acceptable. Founding the belief in the natural or "regulated" benefits of free competition, it also provides economic actors with the necessary argumentative resources to perpetuate their competitive strategies. The apparent technicality of this law should not hide the terms of an ethical debate par excellence. Competition law refers to the controversies concerning the definition of an adequate political framework for the composition of interests. The affects that are at the source of the competitive phenomenon can as much generate its prosperity as destroy it. It remains to be seen whether it is possible to dominate them, and in what way.