ARTICLES : ANTICOMPETITIVE MARKET DISTORTIONS - NATURE - GOVERNMENT ACTIONS - PRIVATE INTERESTS - ARTIFICIAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES - CONSUMER WELFARE - DEVELOPMENT OF A METRIC - GOVERNMENTAL INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS - MULTILATERAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION NETWORK

Enhancing welfare by attacking anticompetitive market distortions

“Anticompetitive market distortions,” or “ACMDs,” involve government actions that empower certain private interests to obtain or retain artificial competitive advantages over their rivals be they foreign or domestic, to the detriment of consumer welfare. This article assesses the nature of ACMDs, and the problems governmental and international institutions (in particular, the World Trade Organization and national competition agencies) have had in dealing with them. We suggest that the multilateral International Competition Network – and, in particular, the ICN’s Advocacy Working Group – may be a possible near term vehicle for beginning to confront,or at least beginning to highlight, the harm of ACMDs. With that in mind, this article proposed the development of a metric to estimate the net welfare costs of ACMDs. Such a metric could help strengthen the hand of the ICN – and of reform-minded public officials

I. Introduction 1. Trade policy and competition policy, properly applied, are welfare-enhancing complements. Changes to trade laws and regulations that reduce or eliminate national barriers to trade and investment (such as high tariffs, quotas, and investor nationality restrictions) promote welfare-enhancing contractual relations that expand trade and, more generally, raise aggregate welfare in the liberalizing nations [1]. The benefits of trade liberalization are magnified by competition law rules that lower the incidence of consumer welfare-reducing restrictions on the competitive process [2]. 2. Unfortunately, trade law and competition law too often work at cross purposes. Well-organized domestic interests – domestic import-competing businesses, related unions, or both – may be

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Auteurs

  • US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
  • Competere Group

Citation

Alden F. Abbott, Shanker Singham, Enhancing welfare by attacking anticompetitive market distortions, décembre 2011, Concurrences N° 4-2011, Art. N° 39547, www.concurrences.com

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