Competition Policy: From Centrality to Muddling Through?

Martin Lodge

in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Competition Policy: From Centrality to Muddling Through?

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Competition policy has been said to lie at the heart of the German social market economy and to have been a key influence on the EC competition regime. This chapter assesses the impact of Europeanization on the competition law policy domain in the light of earlier claims that suggest a marginalization of the Federal Cartel Office. The question is pursued through three case studies that involve three different Europeanization dynamics: those of domestic assimilation of EU policy provisions, of informing policy change at the EU level, and of ‘collision’ between national and Commission policy preferences. The cases cover three distinct policy issues: the Europeanization of domestic competition law, attempts to shape changes to the EC regime's Regulation 17/62, and efforts of the DG Competition to prohibit the fixed-book price agreement between Austria and Germany. While those cases leading to domestic policy change suggest a considerable degree of national ‘resilience’, the example of ‘informing EC policy change’ points to the declining influence of the German approach vis-à-vis other national competition law experiences, Commission preferences, and changing competition policy ‘ideas’.

Keywords: German economic policy; competition law policy; social market economy; Europeanization; Federal Cartel Office; EU policy

Chapter.  8744 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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