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Lobbying and Competition Law

Both the efficiency and the legitimacy of sector-specific regulation rely on the guarantee that the relevant regulators have not been «captured» by those they are expected to regulate. The present article proceeds with a brief analysis, first, of the formal mechanisms that reduce the risks of both «regulatory capture» and «over-regulation», taking examples from the telecommunications sector. Then, it analyses how practices of regulatory capture are apprehended in competition law, including when «regulatory negotiations» are involved, cases where the competition authority has a positive role to play. Lastly, it concludes on the need for a reflexion on the importance of respecting procedural rules as a means to limit phenomena of regulatory capture.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. Reflections on influencing practices and competition law: Lobbying, "regulatory negotiations" and/or "regulatory capture"? 1. After the Second World War, the issues and risks posed by "practices of influence" on the part of private companies on the functioning of competition were the subject of well-known work by economists, which led to the development of the theory known as "regulatory capture". 2. Richard Posner, a lawyer and economist at the University of Chicago, is largely responsible for this theory. He considered that "regulation is not a matter of public interest at all, but a process, by which an interest group tries to promote its own

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Olivier Fréget, Fleur Herrenschmidt, Lobbying and Competition Law, September 2006, Concurrences N° 3-2006, Art. N° 1744, pp. 40-49

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