Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Monday, November 30, 2020

Is the Consumer Welfare Obsolete? A European Union Competition Law Perspective

Is the Consumer Welfare Obsolete? A European Union Competition Law Perspective

By:

Frédéric Marty (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)

Abstract:

In 2005, the European Commission advocated for a more economic approach for enforcing competition laws. The sole criterion for assessing the lawfulness of a market practice should be the appraisal of its net effects on consumer welfare. The Court of Justice was reluctant to adopt such an approach until its 2017 Intel Judgment. Its endorsement - which is debatable insofar as the judgment may give rise to different interpretations - may appear paradoxical in that it is concomitant with a sharp challenge to the consumer welfare criterion in the United States. The purpose of this article is to retrace the history of this criterion, particularly with regard to its adoption in the context of E.U. competition law. Our aim is to show that the criticisms of the effects-based approach can be addressed not by moving away from the consumer welfare criterion but by integrating it into a broader perspective, that also takes into account the protection of the competition process itself.

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gre:wpaper:2020-13&r=com

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2020/11/is-the-consumer-welfare-obsolete-a-european-union-competition-law-perspective.html

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