Antitrust law: goals and political perspective
This chapter examines three important issues. The first issue, examined in the first part, is the point and goals of antitrust law, which has always been a subject of heated debate, whether at national, regional or international level.1 The second issue, examined in the second part, is the political perspective of antitrust law, which is a difficult issue as it requires antitrust lawyers to step outside their own discipline. The third issue, examined in the third part, is concerned with competition advocacy, which has come to assume a very significant value and relevance in the field of antitrust policy. The conclusion of the chapter is contained in the fourth part.
This part begins with considering antitrust law as a concept, then examines its framework of operation, objective and purpose and finally prepares the stage for a nexus to be established with the discussion on the political perspective of antitrust law.
Antitrust law, the ‘law’ used as an expression of the idea of competition, is generally negative and prohibitory in both nature and wording.2 This is obvious since antitrust law does not directly encourage competition, but rather seeks - through the employment of legal systems – to
1 See remarks by F. Jenny in C. Ehlermann and L. Laudati (eds.), European Competition Law Annual 1997: Objectives of Competition Policy (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 1998), p. 3.
2 See H. First, ‘Antitrust Law’ in A. Morrison (ed.), Fundamentals of American Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996); R. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: a Policy at War with Itself (Basic Books, New York, 1978), p. 70.