Prague, Czechia


Union law system than consumer welfare. These three values are not explicitly protected by the primary or secondary law and soft law. However, “the creation and protection of the freedom to compete should remain the purpose of competition law” (Akman, 2014, p. 186), as it would be consistent with ordoliberal thought, which is perceived as a fundament of the EU competition rules. All of these three values are used in the paper in the meaning of German Wettbewerbsfreiheit, present in ordoliberal thought. Wettbewerbsfreiheit (as an individual freedom) was perceived by ordoliberals as the teleology of the EU competition law, an aim in itself (Hoppmann, 1967, 79). This concept “can be translated into English in a number of ways: “freedom of competition”, “freedom to compete”, or “economic freedom”” (Akman, 2014, p. 189). This perspective seems to be rejected by the CJEU; see for example para. 62 of AG Wahl’s Opinion in Case C-525/16 Meo – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia : “it is well established that a practice of discrimination, and a differential pricing practice in particular, is ambivalent in terms of its effects on competition. Such a practice may have the consequence of increasing economic efficiency and thus the well-being of consumers. These are goals which, to my mind, should not be overlooked in the application of the rules of competition law, and they are, in any event, quite distinct from considerations of fairness. As the Court has repeatedly held, the rules of competition law are designed to safeguard competition, not to protect competitors”. Only four Commission’s decisions were identified on the basis of the keywords “freedom to compete”, “freedom of competition”, and “economic freedom”. 0 results appeared on the EURLex website. Figure 3: Freedom to compete, freedom of competition, economic freedom in the concentration control decisions of the Commission

Source: own study (2022)


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