Comparative Antitrust Federalism: Review of Cengiz, Antitrust Federalism in the EU and the US

7 Pages Posted: 31 May 2012 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012

See all articles by Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; University College London

Date Written: August 1, 2012


This brief essay reviews Firat Cengiz’s book “Federalism in the EU and the US” (2012), which compares the role of federalism in the competition law of the European Union and the United States. Both of these systems are “federal,” of course, because both have individual nation-states (Europe) or states (US) with their own individual competition provisions, but also an overarching competition law that applies to the entire group. This requires a certain amount of cooperation with respect to both territorial reach and substantive coverage.

Cengiz distinguishes among “markets,” “hierarchies,” and “networks” as forms of federalism. Markets are the least centralized and have more episodic, or ad hoc, control. As a result they are more prone to policy “races” among sovereigns in the system. Cengiz concludes that the EU and US systems are similar in that both begin with a set of system-wide policies that are broad and strong, with internal unification as a primary objective. Where they tend to differ is in areas governing conflicts between the laws at the different levels. Here, the US system is more structured and hierarchical, while the EU system tends to rely more on cooperation.

Keywords: antitrust law, competition law, comparative law, EU competition policy, federalism

Suggested Citation

Hovenkamp, Herbert, Comparative Antitrust Federalism: Review of Cengiz, Antitrust Federalism in the EU and the US (August 1, 2012). U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-33. Available at SSRN: or

Herbert Hovenkamp (Contact Author)

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University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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