Does Competition Matter? An Attempt of Analytical ‘Unbundling’ of Competition from Consumer Welfare: A Response to Miąsik
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This paper is an attempt to evaluate the conceptual relationship between two central elements of the theory of antitrust: competition and consumer welfare. These two notions are analysed in their mutual dependency. In terms of methodology, the paper proposes to structurally separate competition from consumer welfare. This technique is successfully applied in the domain of legal philosophy when the correlation between law and morality is debated. The main purpose of this paper is to show that both competition and consumer welfare are economic values of fundamental importance with no ex ante hierarchical dominance of consumer welfare over competition. In case of conflict, priority might be given to either of these values depending on the context of the assessment. This paper has a discursive character, it constitutes a response to Dawid Miąsik’s article entitled: ‘Controlled Chaos with Consumer Welfare as the Winner – a Study of the Goals of Polish Antitrust Law’ which was published in the ‘Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies’ 2008 vol. 1.
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