U.S. Competition Policy and the Free Market Philosophy: A Moral Justification

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Few today would doubt the need for competition rules in a free, marked-based society like the United States of America. From a free market philosophy perspective, however, there is something inherently paradoxical about the presence of competition policy. After all, the competition laws that are intended to combat restraints of trade are, in fact, themselves restraints of trade and their enforcement implies extensive government intervention. It is argued that competition policy is nevertheless compatible with the free market philosophy when the free market system would effectively disappear without it and it is shown that this possibility was considered real in the history of U.S. competition law enforcement. U.S. competition policy stimulates free market survival by shaping market structure and by promoting the free market spirit. Both make American competition policy consistent with the free market philosophy and consequently provide a moral justification for its presence.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda


  • industrial organization

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