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Competition and Antitrust Law: A Very Short Introduction

Ariel Ezrachi

Publication Date - October 2021

ISBN: 9780198860303

176 pages
6.9 x 4.4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95


Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring

Competition is responsible for much of the prosperity around us. Competitive markets deliver lower prices, better quality, abundance of choice, and increased innovation. But while competition benefits the consumers, it can prove challenging to producers and sellers, who need to constantly improve to stay in business. As a result, sellers may sometimes look for ways to dampen the competitive process.

Our antitrust and competition laws are designed to address these risks and safeguard consumer welfare. The competition enforcers have the task of unravelling price-fixing cartels, challenging powerful companies that abuse their power, and monitoring proposed merger transactions that could undermine effective competition. In doing so, competition enforcers have to carefully consider the level of intervention and ensure they do not distort the natural dynamics of competition.

Drawing on case studies from the US and the European Union, this Very Short Introduction explores the promise and limitations of competitive market dynamics. In examining the laws and the way they are enforced, Ariel Ezrachi considers the delicate relationship between a free market economy and government intervention, and the fascinating forces of competition that shape modern society.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Draws on real-life case studies to review US antitrust laws and EU competition laws
  • Considers the main threats to competitive markets: cartels, monopolies, mergers, and international cooperation
  • Lucidly explains the policy considerations which affect competition law enforcement
  • Written by a leading expert in the field, the Director of the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Ariel Ezrachi, Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law, University of Oxford

Ariel Ezrachi is the Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law at the University of Oxford and the Director of the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy. He is the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement (OUP) and the author, co-author and editor of numerous books, including Competition Overdose (2020 HarperCollins) and Virtual Competition (2016, Harvard). Professor Ezrachi's research and commentary have been featured in The Economist, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, Nikkei, Politico, WIRED and other international outlets


"The book's pocket-size format, informative contents page and chapter headings, and useful references and index sections, as well as clear sub-headings and illustrative diagrams, all help busy readers find what they need quickly." -- David Glass, Law Society Gazette

Table of Contents

    1. The Power of Competition
    2. Markets
    3. The goals and scope of competition and antitrust laws
    4. What is the optimal level of enforcement?
    5. The legal framework
    6. Who enforces the law?
    7. The fight against cartels
    8. Horizontal and vertical agreements
    9. Monopolies and the abuse of market power
    10. Mergers and acquisitions
    11. The international dimension
    Further Reading

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