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Comparative Competition PolicyNational Institutions in a Global Market$
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G. Bruce Doern and Stephen Wilks

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198280620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198280620.001.0001

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The Prolonged Reform of United Kingdom Competition Policy

The Prolonged Reform of United Kingdom Competition Policy

Chapter:
(p.139) 6 The Prolonged Reform of United Kingdom Competition Policy
Source:
Comparative Competition Policy
Author(s):

G. BRUCE DOERN

STEPHEN WILKS

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198280620.003.0006

This chapter argues that competition policy in the UK has reached a level of legal sophistication which inhibits the layperson and even the non-specialist lawyer. But complexity is not a sufficient answer for low political salience: there is more a profound strain of ambiguity running through competition policy and the British reception of it. The battle to reintroduce real competition into the British industrial economy was waged within government during 1943–4. The origins of British competition policy had more to do with the pragmatic pursuit of policy goals than with the purity of economic doctrine or the righting of social injustice. British competition policy is currently going through an extraordinarily long, drawn-out period of reform. A review of the law on restrictive trade practices was announced by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Paul Channon, in 1986, and there has been ten years of legislative inaction.

Keywords:   competition policy, economic doctrine, Paul Channon, British, social injustice, reform

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