Advantages and Disadvantages of Competition Welfare Standards



Read the OECD Background Note

  15 June 2023  OECD Conference Centre, Paris

Standards in competition policy have been the subject of much debate. Often these discussions focus on a jurisdiction’s legislative history and what this infers the prevailing standard to be. Rather than seeking to address the question of what standard should be applied in competition law enforcement, in June 2023, the OECD held a roundtable discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of the consumer welfare standard compared to alternative standards. This roundtable sought to understand the trade-offs that any particular standard requires and tried to tackle:

  • What standards are available and how should these be defined?
  • What are the attributes that an ideal standard should exhibit, such as legal certainty and predictability, ability to make society better overall, ease of administrability, democratic credibility or legitimacy etc?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the consumer welfare standard compared to alternatives given these attributes?
  • How do different jurisdictions balance these advantages and disadvantages?

This page contains all related documentation. 

 See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition

Invited speakers

Anna Gerbrandy Bio  
Full Professor of Competition Law at Utrecht University

Nicolas Petit Bio  
Professor of Competition Law, European University Institute

Carl Shapiro Bio  
Professor, University of California, Berkeley


OECD Background Note l Note de référence de l'OCDE


Contributions from participating delegations








New Zealand



South Africa


United States

Summaries of contributions

Related material

The Goals of Competition Policy (2022)

Competition policy: Time for a reset? (2020)

Competition under fire (2019)

Purchasing Power and Buyers' Cartels (2022)

Sustainability and competition (2020) 

See also

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition


Related Documents