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A New Approach to Competition Policy: Optimisation as the Primary Goal

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Murray B. Stanley, provides a detailed commentary on competition policy and how it might be better framed to optimise public benefit.

The author notes: ‘Current competition policy (as practiced in the Western World) has led to decline and losses that can never be measured.  In some industries, the results have included higher prices and reduction in quality.  Other problems like lack of investment in research, development and infrastructure are less obvious.  This paper presents a new approach to prevent and solve these problems.  It will provide a method to distinguish between industries where competition will create benefit and industries where competition will cause harm.  It will show the importance of cooperation between competitors, government and research bodies and why some industries need to be managed as systems.  Under this new approach, the aim of competition policy will switch from ‘increasing competition wherever possible’ to ‘optimisation’.

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