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date: 07 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Competition policy is a complex policy field which requires knowledge of competition law and economics as well as familiarity with the framework of policy and the agencies of enforcement. There is a large amount of literature dealing with the law and economics but surprisingly little work which provides an overall assessment of policy. Unfortunately, discussion of competition policy is therefore segregated into rather insular sub-specialisms. This article presents an outline of the main elements of policy but also seeks to cover new ground by presenting a distinctively “political economy” analysis of competition policy. It argues that competition policy is simultaneously a growing area of legal regulation, a core component of economic policy, and a mode of balancing public and private power in contemporary liberal democracy.

Keywords: competition policy, competition law, enforcement agencies, policy assessment, legal regulation, liberal democracy

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