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For a generation, competition law has been based on the premise that intervention is warranted if companies cause or may cause significant harm to competition in the market and thereby diminish consumer welfare. This orthodoxy holds that the size of a company does not occasion concern — for several reasons. A company may be a large conglomerate enjoying no power in any market. It may be large because it requires scale to be efficient, or because it is simply better at what it does, and the rewards of competitive rivalry should not be diminished because competitors came second or third. This orthodoxy is starting to be challenged. There are companies of such extraordinary power, size and reach that the traditional rationale of competition law — maximising consumer welfare — is simply too limited to rectify the harms they may cause. Companies that have attracted these concerns are the giants of the new internet economy: Google, Amazon and Facebook. From an orthodox perspective, this i...

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