Public Interest in Competition
- Public Interest in Competition
Competition is an important regulator in the era of market economy.
The aim of regulating market through competition is survival of the
fittest. In many countries such as Australia, competition law and
policy is based on this principle.
However, there are instances when ruthless operation of free market
needs to be tempered by other policy considerations. These policy
considerations referred to as public interest in competition law
allows the regulator to give protective shield to certain practices
and policies that would otherwise be hit by competition law. India on
the pattern of U.K. had such a provision in its competition law
earlier. However, now the country (India) has come up with a new
competition law that does not allow any such exception from the
application of competition law principles.
Nevertheless public interest in competition law remains a debatable
issue and many developing countries have provided for such provision.
Even the Doha Declaration states that in negotiations on interaction
between trade and competition policy, "Full account shall be
of the needs of developing and least developing country participants
and appropriate flexibility provided to address them." (para 25)
It would be a useful exercise to examine provisions for public
interest in competition law in different countries and interpretation
by the courts of those provisions. The issue is currently being
researched by CUTS-International. For this any information provided
regarding the provision for public interest in different countries
and its interpretation by the courts would be highly appreciated.