Competition is responsible for much of the prosperity around us. Competitive markets deliver lower prices, better quality, abundance of choice, and increased innovation. But while competition benefits the consumers, it can prove challenging to producers and sellers, who need to constantly improve to stay in business. As a result, sellers may sometimes look for ways to dampen the competitive process.
Our antitrust and competition laws are designed to address these risks and safeguard consumer welfare. The competition enforcers have the task of unravelling price-fixing cartels, challenging powerful companies that abuse their power, and monitoring proposed merger transactions that could undermine effective competition. In doing so, competition enforcers have to carefully consider the level of intervention and ensure they do not distort the natural dynamics of competition.
Drawing on case studies from the US and the European Union, this Very Short Introduction explores the promise and limitations of competitive market dynamics. In examining the laws and the way they are enforced, Ariel Ezrachi considers the delicate relationship between a free market economy and government intervention, and the fascinating forces of competition that shape modern society.
1:The Power of Competition
3:The goals and scope of competition and antitrust laws
4:What is the optimal level of enforcement?
5:The legal framework
6:Who enforces the law?
7:The fight against cartels
8:Horizontal and vertical agreements
9:Monopolies and the abuse of market power
10:Mergers and acquisitions
11:The international dimension
ISBN : 9780198860303