This paper shows what drivers the effectiveness of antitrust policy, by using internationally collated data on the perception of effectiveness of competition policy. It concludes that average antitrust effectiveness depends on per capita income and supranational policy leadership, such as the one at the core of the EU. Additionally, it shows that some aspects of competition policy design have a significant impact on policy results. Effectiveness is driven by using an economic approach to judge dominance and abusive practices. We show that antitrust is sounder when the legal mandate on merger policy focuses on competition in markets, rather than on more broadly defined public interests. Antitrust effectiveness is also spurred by taking an active stance against cartels and especially by introducing a leniency programme to enforce the prohibition of cartels. Finally, it is important that an independent antitrust authority has the final say on prohibiting competition restrains.
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