Prague, Czechia

Antitrustʼs response to the conflict of goals in the disarray of some current trends Josef Bejček Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Department of Commercial Law Veveří 70, Brno, 611 80 Czech Republic e-mail:

Abstract The political nature of antitrust (AT) has manifested itself in recent years, particularly under the influence of globalisation, digitalisation, and a range of secondary political and ideological objectives, and more recently under the influence of the pandemic. AT agencies must respond to these challenges even without an adequate normative basis and using insufficient classical toolbox. In addition, further demands for the promotion of broader societal objectives falling outside the authorities’ competence occur. The paper critically assesses these attempts to extend the scope of AT to areas which do not relate to the protection of competition as a result of market failure and recommends to vigorously resist them. Competition law must actively face new challenges, particularly technological ones, that traditional approaches cannot deal with effectively. However, it must always be about protecting competition and consumer welfare, not about foisting a political agenda on the AT authorities under the guise of significant social change. Keywords: conflict of goals, market failure, policy failure, competition, and social regulation JEL Classification: K210 Competition is one of the two basic types of shaping social relations in the production and distribution of economic value and output (alongside planning and organisation). According to this theory, the market in which competition takes place is an anonymous, autonomous, and decentralised coordination mechanism, allowing each individual to make their own plans without first setting a common goal. AT law has primarily been developed as a protection against abuses of market power and collusion harming workable competition. 1. Competition Law in the “Grey Area” between Traditional (Natural) and Assigned Goals?


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