In principle, competition Law does not protect either competitors or consumers. The European Commission always recalls this fundamental rule, the consumer being the measure of the proper functioning of the market and its ultimate but not necessarily immediate concern. Regulation Law, a law of equilibrium which balances the principle of competition with another principle, can establish consumer protection as an autonomous principle in balance with the concern for competition. In fact, regulation can ex ante set prices at a price lower than the market price, in particular in telecommunications or energy, to develop demand, and continue to establish social tariffs in these two sectors, which competitive system could not admit. In addition, always thanks to this ex ante power wielded by the regulators, while the competition authorities are ex post bodies, information to consumers is organized in advance, in particular with regard to the quality of the product they consume. This is particularly clear in terms of banking and financial regulation.
Indeed, the texts oblige banks to inform their customers of the financial products they plan to acquire and of the risks that these present. In this, consumer protection appears to be a goal served by regulation, in balance with free competition in which the consumer has the vocation to inform itself on the market in contact with suppliers. In banking and financial matters, consumer information is currently a particularly important issue because by informing the consumer-investor about the risks, regulation restores his confidence, through transparency, in the system. By balancing competition and risk, regulation injects confidence in the banking and financial sector, which is based on it.