The theory of regulatory competition and competition law

The governance of competition on global markets is an open policy question (lack of international competition policy). In this paper, it is analyzed to what extent different types of regulatory competition, which in other regulatory contexts (as, e.g., corporate law) can be beneficial, might also be a solution in competition law (instead of seeking harmonisation and centralization). In a first step, it is demonstrated why regulatory competition of competition laws can only be beneficial under very spe-cial circumstances and should therefore be generally avoided. However, yardstick competition as one specific type of regulatory competition, which promotes innovation and mutual learning in regard to competition law rules and practices, might be so valuable that a fairly decentralised multi-level system of competition laws might be recommended. Therefore, in a second step, the basic elements of a global multi-level system of competition laws are presented, which allows for decentralised experimen-tation with new possibilities for protecting competition (laboratory federalism). Some conclusions are drawn for the International Competition Network (ICN).
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