Sustainable Competition Policy

Competition Law and Policy Debate CLPD, Vol 5, Issue 4 and Vol 6 issue 1 March 2020

28 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020

See all articles by Maurits Dolmans

Maurits Dolmans

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Date Written: March 22, 2020


After a general introduction on climate change concerns, this paper discusses market failures involving products and services with an environmental footprint including in particular negative externalities. It argues that a consumer welfare analysis under competition or antitrust policy should take account of these environmental externalities, in all all areas of competition policy, including merger control, and antitrust assessment of horizontal and vertical agreements under Article 101(3) TFEU. The paper concludes that we can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to competition that exploits externalities that hurt the environment and the climate. Nor can we ignore the coordination problems that hamper solutions. Antitrust should be a part of an integrated climate policy, and the social cost of carbon emissions should be taken into account when assessing an agreement or conduct’s impact on consumer welfare.

Keywords: competition law, antitrust, Article 101 TFEU, merger control, climate change, environmental externalities, coordination problem, social costs of carbon emissions, consumer welfare, total welfare, fair share to consumers

JEL Classification: K21, K32

Suggested Citation

Dolmans, Maurits, Sustainable Competition Policy (March 22, 2020). Competition Law and Policy Debate CLPD, Vol 5, Issue 4 and Vol 6 issue 1 March 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Maurits Dolmans (Contact Author)

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ( email )

2 London Wall Place
London, London EC2Y 5AU
United Kingdom
02076142343 (Phone)

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