How can competition contribute to fairer societies?


 29 November 2018  Paris  



The term “fairness” is emerging in the annoucements of many antitrust enforcers without a universal definition, particularly in the competition context. Fairness, while innate to most individuals, is fluid, subject to the influence of many factors: culture, education, experience, society. Behaviourial scientists and psycologists have attempted to examine how fairness works and is defined in markets. While common tendencies may emerge, no consensus was observed. Concerns with fairness in societies may reflect a growing, and positive desire, to reduce societal inequalities, and ensure that opportunities are shared more broadly across society, whether amongst individuals or firm. Taken in this context, how can fairness be interpreted by competition authorities and judges without becoming moralistic or undermining the proven criteria that underpin competition enforcement. 

In November 2018, the Global Forum on Competition explored the concept of fairness, whether and how it can relate to competition and what fairness can mean in practical terms to competition enforcers. The session was led by a panel of experts from different policy areas to debate the question and discussed with delegates in an interactive Q&A format.


» Watch the webcast


» Watch a video about the other topics under discussion in Nov 2018

» OECD Competition Youtube channel

Pannel and papers

Johannes Laitenberger Bio
Director-General of the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), European Commission

Pinar Akman Bio ‌ 
Professor of Competition Law & Director of Centre for Business Law and Practice, University of Leeds

Jonathan B. Baker Bio
Research Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

Arsenio M. Balisacan Bio 
Chairman, Philippine Competition Commission     

Documents and links

» Note by Greece

» Inequality: A hidden cost of market power, 2017

» A Step Ahead: Competition Policy for Shared Prosperity and Inclusive Growth

» Competition and poverty reduction, 2013 Gloal Forum discussion 

» Global Forum website

» Full list of Competition Policy Roundtables


Frédéric Jenny - OECD Competition Committee

Arsenio M. Baliscan - Philippine Competition Commission



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