Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 175–187 | Cite as

What’s the aim for competition policy: optimizing market structure or encouraging innovative behaviors?

  • Jean-Luc GaffardEmail author
  • Michel Quéré
Regular Article


Innovation is usually thought of as a change in the fundamentals of an economy, which can require adjustments by policy-makers. The latter are usually thought as in regard to a dominant vision, which is to restore an optimal market structure, and leads to a competition policy mainly aimed at controlling for antitrust practices and limiting market power. In this paper, we favor another vision of innovation, as a discovery process that cannot allow ex ante a definition of best practices. Dealing with information issues in two different and alternative perspectives, we argue that antitrust authorities confront a market imperfection–market failure dilemma (MI–MF dilemma) which leads them to favor the existence of appreciative and discretionary policy rather than encouraging the existence of any market structure thought of as optimal as regards the current state of information. We conclude with policy implications, contrasting the EU with the US.


Competition Information Innovation 

JEL Classification

L2 L4 L5 O3 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Institut Universitaire de France and OFCEValbonneFrance
  2. 2.CNRS-GREDEG and OFCEValbonneFrance

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