The market as a context: delimiting the competition problem of a corporate acquisition

Gustavo Onto About the author

Abstract

This article describes the procedure of market delimitation performed by the Reporting Commissioner responsible for the administrative proceedings regarding the acquisition of the company Webjet by Gol Airlines at the Administrative Council of Economic Defense (Cade). The “relevant market” definition is considered to be an essential analytic step in the majority of cases held by antitrust bodies – or competition policy bodies – in most countries, aiming at identifying a possible harm to competition derived from the corporate merger under analysis. The description of this procedure allows explaining how markets are conceived from legal administrative practices considered external to them. It is argued that the “relevant market”, or the antitrust policy market, can be understood as a context: in part as a native border of competitive constraints faced by firms, but mostly as a legal frame, necessary to the enforcement of the law. It concludes by contrasting this legal and external perspective of markets with the performative conception of markets understood as socio-technical arrangements.

Keywords
antitrust policy; contextualization technique; law; market

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Antropologia Social - IFCH-UFRGS UFRGS - Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500 - Prédio 43321, sala 205-B, 91509-900 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brasil, Telefone (51) 3308-7165, Fax: +55 51 3308-6638 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
E-mail: horizontes@ufrgs.br