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A Framework for European Competition Law

Co-ordinated Diversity

By: Christopher Townley
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Published: 29-11-2018
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 584
ISBN: 9781509916467
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Hart Studies in Competition Law
RRP: £108.00
Online price : £86.40
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About A Framework for European Competition Law

This book asks whether the current push to increase uniformity in substantive and procedural competition policy and enforcement in Europe, as well as in related institutional structures, is desirable. It focuses on European Union (EU) competition policy and enforcement (related to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and the merger rules), the equivalent rules in the Member States, and the relationships between these different legal orders.

Uniformity has many benefits; yet, the advantages of diversity are also legion, enabling more policy experimentation and innovation; and improving the ability to accommodate national preferences.

Contrary to the overwhelming view of academics, practitioners and regulators in this area, the book argues that uniformity is insufficient and examines ways of achieving a better mix of uniformity and diversity (the EU's motto is 'United in Diversity'). To achieve this better mix, the book offers a new framework for European competition law: Co-ordinated Diversity. Finally, this book discusses whether Co-ordinated Diversity fits with the current legal order in the EU, as well as the EU constitutional settlement more generally, and suggests some ways that it might be made compatible with this order with relative ease.

The book's impact could be significant: changing the results in individual cases; the way cases are argued; and what information is relevant. More importantly, it builds the theoretical foundations for fundamentally altering the way in which the EU and the Member States' competition authorities interact, allowing space for disagreement and uncertainty. The aim is to improve the effiiciency and effectiveness of competition policy-making and enforcement in Europe. It should also increase the legitimacy in this field (rebalancing towards the Member States). Co-ordinated Diversity provides a new way of seeing the EU that better blends difference, when this is demanded, with uniformity and its benefits, as necessary. A timely and ambitious work, this book will be read with interest by all practitioners and academics interested in EU competition law, as well as the related fields of political science and economics.

Table Of Contents

Part A Introduction
1. Disagreements
2. The Importance of Diversity (and Uniformity)
3. Competition Authorities, Independence and How it Undermines Diversity
Part A Conclusion

Part B Introduction
4. Hierarchy
5. Regulatory Competition
6. Policy Networks
7. Learning Mechanisms
8. Co-ordinated Diversity
Part B Conclusion

Part C Introduction
9. Legal Limits to Co-ordinated Diversity under Today's EU Rules
10. The EU Constitutional Order and Competition Law
11. EU Constitutional Limits to Co-ordinated Diversity
Part C Conclusion


“This insightful book reminds us of the complexity of modern and historical discourses on the role of competition in economic life, as well as on its broader societal function. It is highly recommended to those who do not reduce the complexity of (European) competition policy to the popular mainstream narratives and who do not look at it as an isolated self-centred economic domain. The monograph is a well-elaborated and solid piece of theoretical research, offering a harmonious combination of juristic analysis of competition law, legal philosophy and political economy. It makes a significant contribution to the literature on the normative foundations of (European) competition law and beyond, substantially complementing the highly reputable series of Hart Studies in Competition Law.” –  Oles Andriychuk, University of Strathclyde, European Competition Law Review

“[A] careful and detailed work, meticulously researched and referenced. Yet it is also ambitious and even somewhat revolutionary in its attack on the conventional wisdom of ever greater convergence within the “modernized” EU competition framework... Townley's book... raises pertinent and original questions about the optimal future development of EU competition law in an increasingly globalized, but also polarized, world.” –  Niamh Dunne, Common Market Law Review

A Framework for European Competition Law is an encyclopaedic monograph... At each stage of the central argument, Townley admirably takes the time to connect intricate details to the broader themes.” –  Justin Lindeboom, European Competition and Regulatory Law Review

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