Rutger Claassen en Anna Gerbrandy have won the ‘Outstanding Article Award of 2018’ of the Society for Business Ethics, for their article “Doing Good Together: Competition Law and the Political Legitimacy of Interfirm Cooperation” which appeared in the Business Ethics Quarterly. The price has been awarded during a ceremony on August 19th in Boston, which Rutger and Anna joined through Skype.
The paper is about the legitimacy of agreements that corporations make with each other to raise their standards with respect to non-economic goals, such as animal welfare, sustainable production or labour issues. Competition law in most parts of the world, as it stands, prohibits such agreements. They are seen as a violation of the prohibition to form a cartel. Consumer welfare would suffer from such agreements since they raise the price of the end-products they buy. In our article, Claassen and Gerbrandy argue that making such agreements can be legitimate, under certain conditions. Acting in a quasi-political capacity, corporations should be able to take action on behalf of such non-economic goals, under appropriate oversight of regulatory agencies, and, in the final instance, parliament.
From the jury report
"This paper connects very well to a recent, important and timely debate. Further, it is written and theorized in the interdisciplinary spirit which is important to BEQ and its readers, blending insights from law with debates around legitimacy and CSR. Adding to this: the article is also accessible to readers, despite the technical nature of some of the underlying legal issues."