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Antitrust: The Person-Centred Approach (Preface)

 |  January 28, 2014

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Antitrust: The Person-Centred Approach (Preface) – Abayomi Al-Ameen (City University London – City Law School)

ABSTRACT: This Book proposes a different approach to theorising, analysing and expounding antitrust issues. It states that at present, antitrust is addressed from top-down and narrow perspectives which in effect limit or exclude issues that could otherwise be addressed as antitrust-related especially where antitrust concepts are understood and applied from a broader perspective. The justification for seeking inclusiveness is premised on the concept of procedural justice and on the democratisation of ideas.

The book commences from a deconstructionist standpoint in order to show the weakness of top-down accounts. It is shown that the prevailing and dominant antitrust accounts cannot lay exclusive claim to antitrust. This is proved by establishing the deconstructability of such individual theories by making due reference to the position of “the Other”. The failure to give adequate countenance to the position of “the Other” means that this theories will likely fail to be inclusive. Thus, with the aim of correcting the problem of exclusion attributed to top-down accounts, the book identifies the need to construct a bottom-up account. As a precondition, the book recognises that any such bottom-up account must avoid making ex ante judgments about the suitability or otherwise of the normative contents of antitrust laws and theories. Taking this condition into account, two alternative approaches based on pure procedural justice are outlined – Habermas’ Discourse Ethics and the Person centred approach. The former is shown to be incapable of practical application. This makes it imperative to thoroughly substantiate the latter.

The person-centred analysis showcases the conceptual value of inclusiveness by assessing antitrust law and policy through the position of the parties involved. The conceptual value of inclusiveness is also showcased from the policy perspective through the capability approach. This account also shows the value of inclusiveness to antitrust enforcement. It however falls short in terms of adjudicatory value particularly in terms of its practical application. The practical shortfall notwithstanding, this book concludes by emphasising how the idea behind the Person-centred approach could potentially enrich antitrust discourse and also guide policy-makers and enforcers.