This paper attempts to reconcile the goals of competition and equality within antitrust, and suggests that this task corresponds to John Rawls’ efforts to reconcile liberalism and equality within his principles of justice. Applying a Rawlsian analysis, I propose the adoption of inclusivity as a secondary objective within competition law (not as an additional primary objective, as under a public interest test), and suggest that this approach might be labelled Rawlsian Antitrust. In locating this approach among the existing established schools of thought, I emphasize both its economic basis, and the clarity of its values, and how the reconciliation between those might be operationalized. I identify pro-enforcement and more cautious factions within this approach, and suggest that between them lie the tools that will hardwire inclusivity into competition policy. These will help make competition policy play its role within a coherent policy response to the need for greater inclusivity, arguably the great challenge of our time, which was first stirred, and then made urgent by successive crises that have shaken our world, and which now threaten to burn down the technocratic antitrust chateau.
By Chris Pike1
As the full impact of COVID-19 continues to shake our world, we find ourselves retreating to our homes, and unsure of the long-term implications for our health, our societies and our economies. However, in competition policy, as in other policy a!-->…