Vertical restraints in European competition policy

This chapter focuses on the treatment of vertical restraints in European competition policy, which has put more emphasis on intra-brand competition, compared with what can be observed in other regions. The first part of the paper relates this emphasis to the objective of the European, namely, the creation of a single integrated market. The second part discusses, from an economist’s point of view, the role of intra-brand competition in the analysis of vertical restraints. Finally, the last part of the chapter outlines three areas where the single-market objective still affects European competition policy in a way that may not be fully consistent with economic analysis. The first area concerns price discrimination, and the related issue of parallel imports. The other two areas relate to the internet era: We first address the distinction between active and passive sales in the treatment of e-commerce, before turning to the interaction between selective distribution and the internet.

[1] I. Introduction 1. It is both an honor and a real pleasure to take part in this tribute to Bill’s achievements and leadership. In addition to his numerous professional accomplishments, Bill has been an inspiring figure, an energetic co-author, as well as an ever-supportive presence, injecting endless enthusiasm—not to mention insightful feedback—in every project we discussed. 2. When exploring possible topics, we looked for issues that are not already extensively covered in Bill’s own work—quite a formidable challenge, given the expansive array of his research. This led us to pick vertical restraints, with a particular focus on their treatment in European competition policy, which has put more emphasis on their impact on downstream (i.e., intra-brand) competition, compared with

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