Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary has been prepared by DG COMP for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin.

English clause

Contractual agreement in the context of single branding arrangements between a supplier and its customer (e.g. a retailer), allowing the latter to purchase a good from other suppliers on more favourable terms, unless the "exclusive" supplier accepts to supply the good on the same advantageous conditions. Despite the greater freedom to contract enjoyed by the customer, "English clauses" tend to increase transparency between competing suppliers and thus facilitate collusion, particularly where such clauses oblige the customer to reveal the name of the alternative source to his "exclusive" supplier. For this reason, "English clauses" have to be looked at in the light of the circumstances of the particular case to assess their conformity with competition law.

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