Goals and Purposes of EU Competition Law: What Does the Data Say?

This project involves an empirical investigation into the goals and purposes of competition law, as manifested through Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) case-law, European Commission decisions, and soft law (Commission guidelines, opinions of Advocates General, and official speeches and statements delivered by the Commissioners for Competition).

While a large body of existing work analyses what the goals of competition law should be, this project will be the first to document actual practice in hard and soft law. It will provide much needed guidance to national competition authorities and to scholars on what kind of practices are to be pursued in accordance with what competition law sets out to achieve.

The collected data and analysis will :

  • Demonstrate for the first time comprehensively what courts and authorities think the goals and purposes of competition law are.
  • Present data on and discuss how the chosen goals and purposes are used to inform the outcomes of CJEU cases, Commission decisions, and soft law, to help authorities and scholars determine whether choosing between different goals and purposes does indeed make a difference in the outcome of a case.
  • Allow competition authorities to compare their practice with the practice of the CJEU and the Commission.
  • Identify quantitative and qualitative differences in terms of the chosen goals and purposes, to help clear out the confusion between how and why different EU institutions interpret the goals and purposes of competition law differently.

Provide a novel and unique dataset to other researchers to use in their own analyses relevant to the goals and purposes of competition law.