Bruce WardhaughJan 26, 2024
Competition Law in Crisis
The Antitrust Response to Economic Shocks
Cambridge University Press 2022
In recent years, government agencies around the world have been forced to consider the role of competition law and policy in addressing various crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2008 financial collapse. There is no easy formula that a competition agency can apply to determine the appropriate response to a crisis; indeed, there is substantial debate about the issue. One common criticism of competition law and policy is that usually it is too inflexible to deal with a crisis, prohibiting an adequate response to economic and industrial shocks.
Bruce Wardhaugh's Competition Law in Crisis: The Antitrust Response to Economic Shocks (Cambridge UP, 2022) challenges this notion by examining competition responses to crises past and present. With an analysis that spans the response of UK and EU competition authorities to the economic and commercial fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and potential responses to the climate crisis, Professor Wardhaugh argues that relaxing competition law is precisely the wrong response. The rigidity of competition rules in the UK and EU has both normative and positive implications for not just the methodology used in competition analysis, but also the role of competition law within the legal order of both jurisdictions.
Mark Niefer is a lawyer and economist who has served the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in a variety of key roles over the last 25+ years. He presently is an International Advisor at the Antitrust Division, focused on digital market issues; he also is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School - George Mason University, where he teaches an advanced antitrust seminar on mergers.