Is respect of free and fair competition a finality or a tool?

With the rise of the common market and the search for a competition law based on “sound economic principles” during the end of the twentieth century, we buried the now aged German ordo-liberal philosophy. This finality had as a purpose to maintain certain types of markets as a finality in itself. Thereby; a certain sense of modernity removed from competition law every subjective and ideological questioning on its finality. However, how confident are we about this ? Do the constant references to measurable economic efficiency actually bring righteousness and objectivity we believe they bring? What has been the actual impact on rivals who suffered from these rules which are apparently centered on the consumer surplus? Now comes a duty to itemize in order to tether the benefits gained from industrial economy to the need for sense that comes out every type of law. Competition needs to be rediscovered as a finality and not only as a tool.

Le droit de la concurrence actuel semble avoir définitivement résolu cette question lors de la modernisation de ses règles à compter des années 2000. Pour le droit de la concurrence, loin d’être une fin en soi, le maintien d’une concurrence libre et non faussée ne serait plus qu’un moyen pour atteindre une autre fin, celle de l’efficience économique. De la sorte, le droit de la concurrence ne serait plus animé par aucune philosophie sous-jacente pouvant faire de la recherche d’un état de concurrence libre et non faussée une fin en elle-même : il ne s’intéresserait qu’aux pratiques qui ont pour effet d’affecter le surplus du consommateur. Il se déduirait de cette doxa qu’en l’absence d’effet prouvé, il ne saurait y avoir d’intervention fondée des autorités de concurrence. La question que devrait seulement

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Olivier Fréget, Is respect of free and fair competition a finality or a tool?, September 2016, Concurrences Review Nº 3-2016, Art. N° 80008,

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