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Ariel Ezrachi, Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, 2016

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Competition law is often perceived as a stable discipline. In fact, one is often reminded that competition law must be based on economic considerations and reject external social, or political objectives. This article argues that this appealing view—which embodies a sense of purity—is merely an illusion. It ignores the ‘sponge-like’ characteristics of the law—its susceptibility to national peculiarities originating in its design and evident in its application, and its exposure to intellectual and regulatory capture. While the idea of a stable, predictable, and economically-based antitrust discipline is in all of our interests, these traits are not inherent to the law. They are forced onto the sponge in an attempt to ‘discipline’ its natural tendencies, and propagated as reality, to support its legitimacy.

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