Poverty

The rationale behind competition policy is the enhancement of consumer welfare. Consumer welfare – as the term indicates – describes the economic wealth standard of society’s consumers. The efficient performance of markets is essential to generate improved standards of living for citizens and to provide the resources necessary for state action to provide public goods and address other relevant concerns.

Competition law and policy represent an essential component of the governance mechanisms that are required for development and poverty reduction. From the standpoint of consumers, competition law enforcement provides an essential deterrent to cartels and other practices that restrict output, raise prices and thereby erode purchasing power and increase citizen poverty. This is even more important in poor countries than in richer ones. It is very often the poor who are faced with restricted choice and over-inflated prices, and whose access to goods and services is limited because of restricted transport and access to online services.

See http://www.asobancaria.com/portal/page/portal/Eventos/eventos/IV_CONGRESO_DE_ACCESO/Tab5/Antonio%20Gomes.pdf