TECHNOCRATS, POPULISTS, HIPSTERS, AND ROMANTICS – WHO ELSE IS LURKING IN THE CORNERS OF THE BAR?
journal contributionposted on 24.03.2020, 16:13 by Anne C Witt
[First paragraph] Few debates in competition law are as emotionally and ideologically charged as that on the aims of competition law. As Bork famously stated: “Antitrust policy cannot be made rational until we are able to give a firm answer to one question: What is the point of the law — what are its goals? Everything else follows from the answer we give.”2 Although these words were written over forty years ago, they remain as valid today as they were then. The answer to Bork’s question, alas, remains as elusive as it was in the 1970s. Do we protect the competitive process as such? Or do we protect competition in the aim of maximizing economic welfare? And if so, whose welfare? Do we maybe protect competition in order to safeguard fundamental legal rights and principles, such as individual economic freedom or even the democratic process? Maybe the aim is something different altogether. Also, is it necessary to decide on one single objective, or could and should competition law pursue a multitude of aims?