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From Deontology to Pragmatism:

Dynamicity in the Pursuit of Goals of Competition Law in the EU

Henrique Schneider


This article discusses the dynamic adaptation of the goals of competition law in the European Union. After an introduction, it develops an analytic framework in form of a morphological table with different goals, their theoretical underpinnings and the rule-source for them. Then, the case practice of the EU is reviewed using this morphological table. In the case law, as well as in the communications of the European Commission, a variety of goals come to light. Also, it does not seem that any goal trumps the others. Rather, the goals of competition law in the EU are adapted pragmatically on a case-by-case basis. This article concludes by saying that this finding is not a surprise but the very practice might be problematic. Too much pragmatism might lead to arbitrariness.

Henrique Schneider, Chief Economist, Swiss Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (sgv), and Member of the Swiss Competition Commission. For correspondence: <>.


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