The growing importance of welfare economics has favoured, in the last half century, a reshaping of antitrust laws, whose main aims have covered for a long-time economic efficiency rather than freedom of contract. Such an evolution has influenced European antitrust law, even though it seems currently more and more committed to a more widened, i.e. multipurpose, function. This leads to a more cautious approach when dealing with alleged continuity or conflict with Italian constitutional system, within which competition can be linked with both social utility claims and with the safeguard of individual liberty vis-à-vis private powers.
Keywords: Concorrenza; Efficienza economica; Libertà; Utilità sociale; Poteri privati; Competition; Economic efficiency; Freedom; Social purpose; Private powers.