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The Welfare Goal of Antitrust Laws in Asia: for whom should the law toil?


  • David K Round
  • Alec Zuo


It is argued that an antitrust law should include a clear, long-term, economy-wide welfare goal. For any country-especially for developing countries-legislating to promote the competitive process, it is essential to include in the law a clearly-specified objects clause to guide administrative and judicial conduct. Without a clear objects clause, firms, competition agencies, and the courts will not have any guidance as to the government's overarching goal when it passed the legislation. This uncertainty will lead to inefficient regulation; will run the risk of special interests being accommodated; and will lead to the likelihood of false positives and negatives being made by regulators and the courts. We review the antitrust laws in some Asian economies and find that most of them have not incorporated a clear objects clause in their statutes. Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

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  • David K Round & Alec Zuo, 2008. "The Welfare Goal of Antitrust Laws in Asia: for whom should the law toil?," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 22(2), pages 31-56, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:apacel:v:22:y:2008:i:2:p:31-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David K. Round & Zeljka Sporer, 2003. "Globalisation and Consumer Protection in East Asia: is it a zero sum game?," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 17(2), pages 39-50, November.
    2. Nicola Theron, 2001. "The Economics Of Competition Policy: Merger Analysis In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(4), pages 614-658, December.
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