Olivier Fréget

Éditions Odile Jacob - 352 pages, ISBN 2738131255


Is competition, between individuals, between companies, between human groups, a good or a bad thing? Does it constitute, as many in France tend to believe, only a tool at the service of the strongest? Doesn't the lack of competition rather favor the creation and maintenance of rents of all kinds, closing society in on itself, blocking the emergence of new talents and the entry of new economic players? Isn't competition in truth the principle that makes it possible to consecrate merit?

This book celebrates the principle of competition on the merits as a value and as an end. It shows that competition is never a pure state of nature but a political “construction” in the making, the product of a thousand years of history. Concomitant with the establishment of States, it is the guarantee of “open societies”, where places are contestable.

In this perspective, European competition law aims to preserve the plurality of powers while ensuring their permanence and renewal. Also, unlike its Anglo-Saxon parent, antitrust law, its priority is not to fight against Big Business but to contain the indefinite expansion of States.

A vibrant plea, deeply argued and illustrated, for competition and for Europe.

Olivier Fréget is a lawyer, specialist in competition law and sectoral regulation. In particular, he represented newcomers and companies that had won their position through their merits. Prior to founding his own law firm, Fréget & Associés, he was a partner and co-head of the global competition law practice at Allen & Overy LLP, one of the world's ten largest business law firms.