Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary matches the list of keywords used by Concurrences search engine. Each keyword is automatically updated by the most recent EU and national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review. The definitions are excerpt from DG COMP’s Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy (© European Union, 2002) and the OECD’s Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law (© OECD, 1993).

Rule of reason

A legal approach by competition authorities or the courts where an attempt is made to evaluate the pro-competitive features of a restrictive business practice against its anticompetitive effects in order to decide whether or not the practice should be prohibited. Some market restrictions which prima facie give rise to competition issues may on further examination be found to have valid efficiency-enhancing benefits. For example, a manufacturer may restrict supply of a product in different geographic markets only to existing retailers so that they earn higher profits and have an incentive to advertise the product and provide better service to customers. This may have the effect of expanding the demand for the manufacturer’s product more than the increase in quantity demanded at a lower price. The opposite of the rule of reason approach is to declare certain business practices per se illegal, that is, always illegal. Price fixing agreements and resale price maintenance in many jurisdictions are per se illegal. © OECD