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Project: Competition & Markets

The gatekeeping of art

Posted on    by Bartolomeo Meletti
Project: Competition & Markets

The gatekeeping of art

By 22 April 2021February 27th, 2024No Comments

The gatekeeping of art: history and law of competition and innovation


This study proposes a historical perspective on gatekeeper power to restrict competition, with consequences for innovation, consumer welfare and the public interest in access to cultural heritage. Through the evaluation of the conduct by the 19th century art dealer ‘Maison Goupil’, the study draws lessons for competition policy in and regulation of digital platforms and creative industries in the 21st century.

The project compares Maison Goupil with the tech giants of our time, such as Google and Amazon. It looks at the art dealer’s practices in Europe and America, which promoted innovation in the market and popularisation of art yet also made it a ‘gatekeeper’ of the arts.

Dr Savani’s expertise in cultural history and archaeology is combined with Dr Brook and Dr Eben’s competition law and regulation knowledge, to shed a historical light on very current questions.


Giacomo Savani (Research Fellow at the School of Classics, University of St Andrews)

Or Brook (Lecturer in Law at the University of Leeds)

Magali Eben

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Watch video: ASCOLA UK Competition Law in Isolation – Maison Goupil as Gatekeeper of Art: 19th century platform?


‘Creativity and the Law: Changing Perspectives’: CREATe panel at Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities Annual Conference, 2022