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Abstract from

Regulation or Intervention: Australian and European Union Policies on Competition

Rémy Davison is Lecturer in Politics at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Davison provides a perspective upon Australian and European Union policies dealing with the implementation of competition law. There are a number of parallels to be drawn between the EU and Australia in this context. Both have adopted legislation that covers a number of national and State governments with regulatory schemes for various industry sectors; both submit competition provisions to the scrutiny of central courts. In the two cases, after a lukewarm start to competition policy, both systems gave further legal impetus to removing market distortions and anti-competitive trading practices. They each established regulatory bodies with extensive powers to monitor firms and industry sectors. Davison provides some background to these developments, together with an assessment of the level of effective implementation experienced in Europe and Australia. The article concludes with an evaluation of the extent to which the objectives of competition policy have been achieved within the two established legislative frameworks. Both Australian and European policy displays political and industrial sensitivities to the principled pursuit of competition. Many actors and interests exert an influence over the course which implementation takes. The key difference is that the Australian approach is more regulatory and the European more interventionist and protectionist.

(2002) 20 No 1 Law in Context 63
Keywords: Competition

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