Competition policy’s social paradox: are we losing sight of the wood for the trees?

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Series Details Volume 14, Number 2-3, Pages 367-416
Publication Date June 2018
ISSN 1744-1056
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The present contribution seeks to provide a normative justification for the better consideration of employment and its negative social consequences in the area of mergers.

First, it challenges the widespread rhetoric of competition policy when advancing economic efficiency as a goal of competition policy.

Second, it argues that the promotion of efficiency-driven, fierce competition comes at the expense of other sensible social values, such as job creation.

As evidenced by statistics, this contribution unravels how job cuts follow from mergers and acquisitions.

It argues (i) in favour of an overhaul of the efficiency defence with the aim of focusing more actively on job creation, or at least on balancing the number of job cuts with the number of newly created jobs and (ii) against anti-competitive practices such as social dumping and camouflage.

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