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The ultimate goal of competition law is to promote competition and, in most jurisdictions, to enhance consumer welfare. Competition policy may be set aside due to special and exceptional circumstances, such as a financial crisis that threatens the stability of an economy. It is therefore important to have a clear understanding of competition law and the exceptions to it. The key issue that this book addresses is whether a financial crisis can justify the adoption of a more lenient approach to established legal standards as a result of the risks of the systemic crisis to the entire market. It provides an analysis of exceptions to competition law and policy, particularly in the context of a financial crisis, explores the rationale of competition law in the light of conflicting interests, and serves as a valuable practical guide for policy makers as well as practitioners in the field.