Can Antitrust Policy and Antitrust Authorities help to tackle Inequality?

March 2019

Can Antitrust Policy and Antitrust Authorities help to tackle Inequality?  – Ismael Beltrán Prado[1]

Inequality causes social resentment and poses a potential risk to economic and social stability, because, among other things, it spreads apart societies. This social rupture can create social malfunctioning and, as some research shows, it can even affect mental health.[2]

The developing world has long suffered from the maladies of inequality. In Latin America, inequality is particularly traumatic and has been used as a justification for encouraging internal conflicts and has helped ignite violence in urban and rural areas.

Nevertheless, now that inequality is on the agenda of the developed world, developing countries have a golden opportunity to demand a global consensus on how to tackle inequality with the cooperation of developed nations.

Because inequality can lead societies – as it is occurring in many countries – to opt for radicalism, populism, and xenophobia as a wrong and confused response for finding solutions to reduce inequality; individuals, societies, and institutions must address this issue as a main concern, for democracy and economic stability and material progress are in danger.[3]

As antitrust enforcers, I believe we should seriously analyze how we can help to reduce inequality. In fact, one can pose two main questions to address inequality from an antitrust perspective. Is tackling inequality an objective of antitrust law? If not, c…

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