Rejecting The Ordoliberal Standard Of Consumer Choice And Making Consumer Welfare The Hallmark Of An Antitrust Atlanticism

By Joseph V. Coniglio – 

Protecting consumer choice remains essential to the enforcement of European competition law. This article provides an overview of ordoliberalism as a theory of political economy and its relation to a consumer choice paradigm for competition policy, before turning to a critical discussion of ordoliberalism’s theoretical priors and practical standards for determining anticompetitive behavior. While an important chapter in the history of economic thought, the ordoliberal standard of consumer choice embodies a highly controversial and outmoded comprehensive worldview inapposite to the respective economic and political realities of dynamic and evolving markets as well as the importance of international convergence amidst the increasing number of competition regimes and views about the proper role of competition policy.

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