*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. Reform of Vertical Restraints: The Challenges of the Entry into Force of the New Regulation - Paris, 27 May 2010 Round Table II: Opening up distribution on the Internet: What are the consequences for networks? An economic introduction to the debate Anne PERROT Vice President, Competition Authority 1. Retail trade is still highly regulated in France. Admittedly, the Law on the modernisation of the economy of 4 August 2008 has lifted some of the constraints on the sector by raising to 1,000 m2 (instead of 300 m2 ) the threshold above which an administrative authorisation is required to open a large surface area, and by allowing more flexibility in
CONFERENCE : REFORM OF VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION - PARIS - 27 MAY 2010
Conference - Reform of vertical distribution - Roundtable II : The opening of the distribution on Internet : What are the consequences for the networks? (Paris, 27 May 2010)
This second roundtable of the conference “Reform of vertical distribution”, Paris, 27 may 2010, is dedicated to the impact on physical retail distribution of the liberalisation of Internet distribution. The first paper goes back over the foundations of the solution adopted by the French competition authority regarding on-line sales. Most of the cases submitted to the Conseil de la concurrence have appeared in the context of selective retailing. On-line sales are are in general favorable to consumers and can be also favorable to producers and retailers, but in selective distribution network, they can also generate free riders effects that threaten the incentives to investment in the network. Therefore, opening on-line sales to members of the network makes a good solution to this tradeoff. This device is also the essence of the new vertical guidelines of the European Commission regarding on-line sales. The second paper offers the point of view of a practitionner. Faced to the lack of provisions relating to Internet distribution in the new Regulation, the European Commission resorts to soft law to advocate in its guidelines the search for a compromise between online trade liberalization and a reasonable protection of physical networks against the potential parasitism of pure players.
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