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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
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.
About the Author. List of Abbreviations. Foreword. Acknowledgements. 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.
“This book reveals both the attractions of using efficiency as a goal
of competition law and some of the (often unanticipated) consequences of
pursuing that goal. It analyzes with breadth and sophistication a set of
issues that are often dealt with only from narrow perspectives. The book
deserves much attention, not only in the US and Europe, but also in the many
other countries who are struggling to shape their own competition laws” -
Prof. David J Gerber, Chicago-Kent College of Law
“A thoroughly enjoyable read. A modern and vibrant plea in favor of
the incorporation of nonefficiency concerns in competition decision-making.
Amongst the best pieces ever published on the goals of US and EU antitrust
policy” - Prof. Nicolas Petit -- University of Liege (ULg)
"The economic crisis has prompted competition policymakers to revisit
fundamental issues, such as what is competition and what are the goals of
antitrust law. The battle over antitrust begins with its goals. Ben Van
Rompuy's book is a timely and valuable contribution to this important debate."
- Prof. Maurice E. Stucke, University of Tennessee & American Antitrust
"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, Global Professor of Competition Law and Policy,
George Washington University Law School.