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This book, in a compact and easy-to-access form, is valuable. Competition experts should offer it to their neophyte friends who ask them about the real interest of competition law. D. Gerber has indeed set himself the task of removing all the prejudices and misunderstandings that weigh on the credibility of competition law. It is well known thatadvocacy is crucial for the full use of competition law. This is why the author’s target audience is very broad: students, of course, but also government officials, the business community, journalists, non-specialist legal professionals or those who have only partial contact with the subject, and even economists, who may have certain biases, including those who practice industrial economics, and competition lawyers, particularly in order to understand the history and cultural factors inherent in other competition systems such as those in Asia or South America. One would be tempted to add to this list the political class, where many preconceived notions still persist.
The author’s objective was to deliver the essence of the material in a concise manner. This challenge is remarkably met. The identity, aims and methods are clearly presented. Ideological debates are not avoided, such as those on "economic efficiency", which came out of the "Revolution of Law and Economics", on "consumer welfare", "economic freedom", "fairness", which was neutralized for a while and which comes back to the fore with the famous "level playing field" linked to the market power to be fought. Myths have been debunked, such as that of the "invention" of this right in the United States. The discussion on the names "antitrust" and "competition" is well posed with its stakes in terms of adherence in other legal systems. The complexity of industrial economics analysis is explained through its advantages, but also its heavy disadvantages. The integration of social and political goals is also considered with its obstacles and necessities. The upheavals introduced into the modes of reasoning by the digital economy are also discussed. It is not so much the use of algorithms, to hide or organize new forms of collusion, that should be apprehended. We must also take into account a new competitive parameter. Beyond price, quality, diversity and innovation, it is through the acquisition of data and its processing, or even its manipulation, that the "Big Data firms" compete. New economic activities are emerging, whose nature as a "service" needs to be deciphered as it is so vague or evanescent for the user.
As far as institutions are concerned, the models are diverse, but the missions converge: constantly adapting the rules, acquiring knowledge of the markets, training companies in compliance, developing know-how in negotiating with both companies and governments. Likewise, there is convergence in the means required: capacities in terms of expertise and financial resources, with a particular emphasis on independence from political pressure and lobbying by economic power. David Gerber even adds that the competition authority, whatever it may be, must be embodied "with passion". We can only agree with him.
It is thus a "relevant" Christmas gift to usefully and effectivelyadvocate in one’s circle of professional and friendly relations. It will be appreciated by the recipients, as the keys to understanding will elevate them to the level of "informed persons" or "knowers".