In the EU competition law world “ordoliberal” is a label that is often used as a way of disqualifying a Judgment, decision or opinion as “excessively formal” or not sufficiently in line with some trends of economic thinking. Some also use it as a synonym for “absurd” and “nonsense”.
But when you dig deeper you realize that many don’t really know what “ordoliberalism” really was, or is.
Ordoliberals were the first proponents of the concept of “social market economy” and essentially hold that there was a need for public intervention to ensure a healthy level of competition (the existence of competition law itself is a corollary of this sensible tenet, as, by the way, I developed in my piece on Antitrust and the Political Center).
I always thought I should write something about this on the blog in an attempt to clarify (or rather help me understand) the real meaning of this often wrongly used label and of its implications in the competition law field.
But yesterday I discovered that someone has already done the work; the piece just by Peter Behrens linked to below is possibly the best piece on ordoliberalism and competition law that you will be able to find:
Enjoy the weekend read!