The virtue of an imperfect competition law

Imperfect competition is not necessarily a curse. It evokes an environment in which firms compete on multiple dimensions to satisfy heterogeneous consumer preferences. This can create a tension between conflicting social objectives. Inevitably, we must decide which of these objectives should guide competition law. In making this decision, we must accept that it is impossible to reconcile these objectives or to classify them in an order that applies to all, at all times. Thus, the choice of which objective to pursue is a moral choice. However, we can still give competition law a specific objective, since other policies may pursue other objectives. The objective of competition law should be chosen by considering the main features of competition law rules. These rules are stable, technical and their violation carries severe penalties.
These themes are discussed in this article published by Competition Policy International in the October 2021 issue of the Antitrust Chronicle. The article concludes that the value that best fits these characteristics is a narrow notion of total welfare.

Western Balkans and the Design of Effective Competition Law: The Role of Economic, Institutional and Cultural Characteristics

The paper analyzes the optimal design of competition law in Western Balkan countries. It first identifies the “policy choice set”, i.e. the essential variables that define a competition policy regime; then considers how the optimal choice within the available options depends on a number of characteristics and finally examines where the Western Balkan economies stand in terms of these characteristics. This comparison allowed the authors to derive policy implications on how competition policy in Western Balkan countries should be designed and implemented.

The study “Western Balkans and the Design of Effective Competition Law: The Role of Economic, Institutional and Cultural Characteristics”  has been published by Springer in the book “Competition Authorities in South Eastern Europe”, edited by Boris Begović and Dušan V. Popović.