The Objectives of Competition Law
This essay examines the nature of competition law objectives by visiting some of the theoretical and philosophical foundations underlying competition law. The key objectives of competition law are welfare, efficiency, and free and fair competition. There are distributive dimensions in competition law that are related to different notions of welfare (consumer surplus and producer surplus). The different types of efficiencies are subject to trade-offs - within a given time (allocative versus productive) and inter-temporally (static versus dynamic). Theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical frameworks also influence competition law objectives.