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Competition law and human rights: A complex relationship

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This article explores whether human rights may be includ-ed in competition analysis. To do so it first explores the reasons for which modern competition law prefers certain individual rights over others. The article then investigates the connection between competition law and human rights with reference to the rights to health and food to argue that whilst there is merit in the argument that competition law may serve as a tool for realising these rights there are also obstacles in this regard, including the issue of justiciability of these rights, the difficulty of including non-economic factors in competition analysis, the question of institutional capacity and competence and, most importantly, the core philosophy of competition itself. The article concludes by arguing that even if the mechanisms for doing so are not fully clear, it is necessary for competition law of the future to look beyond consumer welfare to check the abuse of market power in whichever form it occurs.

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