The Effectiveness of Competition Authorities: Four Questions

Roderick Meiklejohn, Sep 11, 2014

When comparing national competition authorities, four questions arise: How great is the risk that the government’s powers of appointment could be used to “capture” the competition agency? What are the minimum resources needed to enable a competition authority to function effectively in a developed country? Does the ability to impose sanctions on individuals, as well as companies, significantly enhance the effectiveness of national competition authorities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of charging competition authorities with responsibilities in other, related policy areas as in Germany and the United Kingdom — Are there significant synergies — Is there a danger that priorities will be unclear? The aim of the present article is to discuss, with reference to a wide range of countries, considerations that are relevant to answering these questions.