The Origins of European Competition Law in Fin-De-Siècle Austria
36 American Journal of Legal History 405 (1992)
36 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2013
Date Written: 1992
In this essay I explore the Austrian origins of European competition law in order better to understand the forces that have shaped the subsequent development of these ideas and continue to influence their operation today. Analysis of the origins of these ideas also provides a valuable perspective on current competition law policies. The initial conceptions of competition law were responses to a specific problem, and they were based on historically-conditioned values, perceptions and expectations regarding the economic process, the role of government, the utility and dependability of language and the capacities of legal processes to influence behavior. To the extent that these values and perceptions remain powerful, the legal norms and procedures based on them deserved continued support. To the extent, however, that new knowledge and experience have rendered them invalid or inapplicable, that legal framework required critical reevaluation.
Keywords: competition law, antitrust law, international law, comparative law, Europe, Austria, legal history, legal systems, regulation
JEL Classification: K19, K21, K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation