L’américanisation du droit de la concurrence: jusqu’où ?, Louis VOGEL

Louis Vogel

This section selects books on themes related to competition laws and economics. This compilation does not attempt to be exhaustive but rather a survey of themes important in the area. The survey usually covers publication over the last three months after publication of the latest issue of Concurrences. Publishers, authors and editors are welcome to send books to catherine.prieto@univ-paris1.fr for review in this section.

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The circumstances of the post-war period, which have given it a position of strength, have meant that American law has led to a transformation, not originally intended, of European law. This "Americanisation", which began with the adoption of European competition law and continues today, has its limits. From a comparative point of view, they are the most interesting to examine because they reveal the essence of European legal systems. In contrast to American law, which always places more emphasis on effects than on conduct, European law gives a decisive role to the latter. Similarly, European law generally conceptualizes notions that the American judge applies in the form of case law doctrines. Finally, in Europe, competition laws are still perceived today as means of public intervention, essentially applied by administrative authorities, rather than as the result of legal actions implemented by private operators. The islands of resistance to Americanisation are the quintessence of European legal systems, which are more subjective, more abstract and more statist than American law. These differences, which affect rules that are extremely similar in time and substance, show that the structure and life of rules, far from obeying only the control function assigned to them, actually depend to a very large extent on the socio-historical context in which they are born and develop.