Markets, Competition, and Fairness in the EU


Fairness considerations are increasingly evoked in economic policy and have become part of the current conversation on the objectives of competition policy. Fairness is undoubtedly an acceptable objective by itself and has its place in the history of economic regulation. The approach in competition policy so far has been to attempt to anchor the concept of fairness in economics with disciplined attempts to characterize the processes that are conducive to fair or unfair outcomes. As fairness becomes a central element in recent EU digital regulatory interventions, there appears to be a possible evolution in the implementation of fairness in EU competition policy away from well-defined forms of abuse and towards a more assertive defense of equal opportunities in the competitive process as well as fair outcomes.