Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary was prepared by DG COMP and the OECD for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin. (© European Union - © OECD)

Brand Competition

Intra-brand competition

Competition among distributors or retailers of the same branded product, be it on price or non-price terms. For example, a pair of Levi’s jeans may be sold at a lower price in a discount store as compared to a department store but often without the amenities in services that the latter provides.

Inter-brand competition

Competition between firms that have developed brands or labels for their products in order to distinguish them from other brands sold in the same market segment. Although not perceived as being fully equivalent by consumers, branded products ‘nevertheless’ compete with each other, but normally to a lesser degree. Coca-Cola versus Pepsi is an example of inter-brand competition.

© European Commission

Firms marketing differentiated products frequently develop and compete on the basis of brands or labels. Coca Cola vs. Pepsi-Cola, Levi vs. GWG jeans, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes vs. Nabisco’s Bran Flakes are a few examples of inter-brand competition. Each of these brands may be preferred by different buyers willing to pay a higher price or make more frequent purchases of one branded product over another.

Intra-brand competition is competition among retailers or distributors of the same brand. Intra-brand competition may be on price or non-price terms. As an example, a pair of Levi jeans may be sold at a lower price in a discount or specialty store as compared to a department store but without the amenities in services that a department store provides. The amenities in services constitute intra-brand non- price competition. Some manufacturers seek to maintain uniform retail prices for their products and prevent intra-brand price competition through business practices such as resale price maintenance (RPM), in order to stimulate intra-brand non- price competition if it will increase sales of their product.

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