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The Law's Markets: Envisioning and effecting the boundaries of competition
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cultural Economy, ISSN 1753-0350, E-ISSN 1753-0369, Vol. 8, no 2, 125-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent research has suggested that one of the key ways in which economics and cognate calculative discourses and practices ‘perform’ the economy is through the drawing of conceptual boundaries between economic activities and entities of various sorts. One such boundary is the boundary between markets. This article shows that a critical contemporary arena for the differentiation of one product or service market from another is competition (or antitrust) law, which, through its work of market definition, seeks to identify the boundaries of competition: the location of the borders between meaningful economic spaces within which buyers and sellers encounter one another and establish prices. The article argues that in envisioning markets (‘the law's markets’), competition law simultaneously constitutes markets, and it demonstrates this through an empirical examination of the exercise of such law in three economic sectors: insurance, grocery retailing, and pay-television. It also shows, however, that competition law is perennially dogged by conflict – both over the placement of such conceptual boundaries, and over the very process of placement and the status of the market boundary itself – and that its application and effects can only be understood in this light.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 8, no 2, 125-143 p.
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254125DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2013.781533ISI: 000372129600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-254125DiVA: diva2:817179
Available from: 2015-06-04 Created: 2015-06-04 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved

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