When reading the competition law statutes of countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam or, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, it quickly becomes clear to anyone who has studied EU competition law in any detail that these statutes have been inspired by or, indeed, partly been copied verbatim from EU competition law. Yet, do these transplants actually work the same way in the receiving countries? Is that even possible at all? And how are we to understand any deliberate changes which have been made to the transplants?
The article aims to develop a method for investigating EU competition law transplants in non-EU countries, focusing especially on ASEAN, based on inter-disciplinary insight into the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in the receiving countries. For this, the article engages with the theoretical underpinnings of legal transplants and comparative law. It has become increasingly well-recognised in critical comparative legal research that it is essential to go beyond the legal perspective, but this is still rare in competition law comparison. A sound method taking into consideration legal and non-legal contexts will help us to understand more fully the role of competition law in those non-EU countries that have opted to transplant the EU model.