Competition under fire


 5 December 2019  Paris  



The current policy debate criticising the activities of competition authorities is broad and wide ranging from questioning the inadequacy of the consumer welfare standard, to concerns about the current merger control standards. Competition authorities face questions about the effectiveness of their activities and whether competition maybe skewed, favouring large firms to the detriment of smaller ones or certain economic classes of the population over others.  Considerations of industrial policy, and public interest objectives,  also enter into the debate of whether competition as we know it is still relevant. 

In December 2019, the Global Forum on Competition addressed the growing scepticism of competition, examining and responding to the broad criticisms which antitrust policy has been subject to in recent times. The panel also looked at the role that competition policy could play when pursuing such broader interests; the enforcement standard that agencies could apply; and, if competition should have any role in promoting industrial policy objectives and reduction of inequalities in modern societies.



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Key materials

Briefing note by Chairman Jenny

Opening remarks by Angel Gurría

Keynote address by Jean Tirole

Summary of the discussion

Special remarks by Lord Andrew Tyrie



Angel Gurría Bio  
OECD Secretary General

Jean TIROLE Bio 
Honorary Chairman of the Jean-Jacques Laffont-Toulouse School of Economics Foundation and Chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) 

Tembinkosi BONAKELE Bio 
Commissioner, Competition Commission of South Africa

Elie COHEN Bio 
Economist, Research director at France's national scientifc research centre (CNRS) and Professor at SciencesPo

William E. KOVACIC Bio
Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy; Professor of Law; Director, Competition Law Center, George Washington University

Rt. Hon. Andrew TYRIE Bio  
Chair, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), United Kingdom

Joshua D. WRIGHT Bio 
University Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University (GMU) and Executive Director, Global Antitrust Institute, Antonin Scalia Law School, GMU

Related links

Competition and macroeconomic outcomes factsheet

How can competition contribute to fairer societies? 2018

Gender and competition 2018

Links and drivers between competition and employment 2015

Fighting corruption and promoting competition 2014

Competition and poverty reduction 2013


Promoting competition, protecting human rights 2016

Are competition and democracy symbiotic? 2017

Competition issues in labour markets 2019 

More OECD work on Competition

OECD Competition Youtube channel

Full list of Competition Policy Roundtables


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