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In Search of a competition law fit for developing countries

Eleanor M. Fox, NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-04

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What form of antitrust (competition) law is fitting for regional free trade areas comprised of developing countries? This article explores the question by tackling, first: Are there special characteristics of developing countries indicating their need for a competition law different from emerging international standards, and if so what are these characteristics and what salient focal points provide a framework for law sympathetic with economic development? The article argues that there are such special needs, and it explores models that respond to those needs. It suggests a metric of efficient inclusive development. In any event, the article argues for a voice of developing countries in choosing their model - which could turn out to correspond or not with the formulations of law in the developed world. Blueprint transplants may be fitting; they may not be fitting; they may fit well enough so that developing countries choose not to incur the costs of difference. The key point is knowledgeable choice. Finally, the article explores how a regional setting can make a difference. It can help overcome problems of effectiveness, and harmful exercises of power by the state and vested interests; but it presents new challenges of effectiveness that must be overcome.

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