Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Economic Efficiency: The Sole Concern of Modern Antitrust Policy? Non-efficiency Considerations under Article 101 TFEU

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ben Van Rompuy (T.M.C. Asser Institute) has written the book Economic Efficiency: The Sole Concern of Modern Antitrust Policy? Non-efficiency Considerations under Article 101 TFEU.

BOOK ABSTRACT:

Over the past decade, we have witnessed an apparent convergence of views among competition agency officials in the European Union and the United States on the appropriate goals of competition law enforcement. Antitrust policy, it is now suggested, should focus on enhancing economic efficiency, which we are to believe will promote consumer welfare. Recent EU Commission Guidelines on the application of Article 101 TFEU appear to banish considerations that cannot be construed as having an economic efficiency value – such as the environment, cultural policy, employment, public health, and consumer protection – from the application of Article 101 TFEU.

Arguing that the professed adoption of an exclusive efficiency approach to Article 101 TFEU does not preclude, but rather obfuscates the role of non-efficiency considerations, the author of this timely contribution accomplishes the following objectives:

  • traces the genesis of the shift to an efficiency orientation in EU and US antitrust policy and dispels several ingrained misconceptions that underpin it;
  • demonstrates the close interrelationship between evolving images of the purpose of antitrust, the development of related enforcement norms, and enforcement output;
  • provides in-depth analyses of a number of analytically rich cases in the audiovisual sector (and particularly those related to sports rights); and
  • explores what the role of non-efficiency considerations in the application of Article 101 TFEU could and should be under the modernized enforcement regime.
This book has no predecessors or peers in its detailed scrutiny of the main justifications for precluding non-efficiency ends from antitrust law and policy. With its valuable lessons about the practical importance of the choice of and emphasis upon goals, this incomparable book has a great deal to offer all practitioners, policymakers, and academics concerned with the future of competition law in Europe and beyond.

Foreword by William E Kovacic. General Introduction. Part I The Objectives of US and EU Antitrust Policy: A Historical and Comparative Perspective. Chapter 1 Antitrust’s Objectives: Theoretical Perspectives. Chapter 2 The Objectives of US Antitrust Policy. Chapter 3 The Objectives of EU Antitrust Policy. Part II The Role of Non-efficiency Considerations in the Application of Article 101 TFEU: Case Study of the Audiovisual Sector. Chapter 4 The Justifiability of Incorporating Non-efficiency Considerations in Article 101 TFEU. Chapter 5 More Than a Game? The Specific Characteristics of Sport and Its Societal Role. Chapter 6 Access to Content by Final Consumers. Conclusions to Part II. Final Conclusions. Bibliography. Table of Cases. Index.

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