The Influence of the Chicago School on the Commission's Guidelines, Notices and Block Exemption Regulations in EU Competition Policy

Dzmitry Bartalevich

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    Antitrust rules are fundamentally informed and shaped by economic theories. Given the significance of EU competition policy for the European integration process, it is essential to disentangle the economic theories underlying EU competition law. There is abundant theoretical and empirical literature examining the influence of ordoliberalism on EC/EU competition policy. However, in recent years, ordoliberal principles appear to have been replaced by neoliberalism and efficiency-enhancing rationale in EU competition policy. This article puts forward the idea of clarifying whether the European Commission incorporates Chicago School theory into EU competition law provisions. The analysis is carried out on the basis of the European Commission's guidelines, notices and block exemption regulations. The analysis reveals that the Commission does, to a considerable extent, follow the Chicago School theory. The elements of the Chicago School theory hold strongest in vertical practices; they are somewhat weaker in horizontal practices and in unilateral exclusionary conduct.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)267-283
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • EU competition policy
    • European Commission
    • Horizontal practices
    • Unilateral exclusionary conduct
    • Vertical practices

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