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Title: Consumer involvement in private EU competition law enforcement : evaluating and reshaping the enforcement toolbox : towards acceptable mechanisms
Author: Ioannidou, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 6139
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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EU competition law rhetoric attributes particular importance to ‘consumer interest’. However, despite these often repeated pronouncements, final consumers and their respective interests play only an ancillary role in EU competition law enforcement. This thesis embarks from this observation with the aim of strengthening the importance attributed to ‘consumer interest’ in the application and enforcement of EU competition law. Taking into account the difficulty in adopting a ‘final consumer welfare standard’ as the substantive enforcement standard in EU competition law, the thesis shall explore an alternative route and focus predominantly on consumer participation in private competition law enforcement. The analysis is conducted at three levels. First normative justifications for the advocated consumer involvement are provided (‘added value spectrum’ of consumer participation); these include deterrence of competition law violations and compensation to affected consumers (principal aims), as well as aligning the substantive enforcement standard with policy pronouncements, legitimise EU competition policy and contribute to empowering and informing EU consumers (derivative aims). Second, practical proposals in relation to remedial and procedural measures enabling consumer involvement are formulated. Third, in so far as institutional and political limitations impede the adoption of effective measures in the field of private enforcement, alternative routes of consumer participation in public competition law enforcement (that possess the potential to promote the ‘added value spectrum’) are also examined. In light of the above, practical proposals will also be formulated.
Supervisor: Ezrachi, Ariel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law ; EU Law ; EU Competition Law ; Private Competition Law Enforcement ; EU Competition Law Enforcement ; Consumer Interest in EU Competition Law