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)

Vertical restraints (or restrictions)

Refers to certain types of practices by manufacturers or suppliers relating to the resale of their products. The usual practices adopted in this regard are resale price maintenance (RPM), exclusive dealing and exclusive territory or geographic market restrictions. Under exclusive dealing and/or exclusive territory, a single distributor is the only one who obtains the rights from a manufacturer to market the product. A significant debate exists in the economic literature as to whether this confers monopoly power on the distributor. Usually, the distributor’s market power is limited by inter-brand competition. The manufacturer’s purpose is normally to provide incentives to the distributor to promote the product and provide better service to customers.

See also discussion Free Riding, Resale Price Maintenance

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