Exclusivity provisions: The high-tech markets case

The iPhone case illustrates the issue of exclusive dealing in high tech sectors. Previous law cases on broadcasting right restrictions highlighted the risk of anticompetitive foreclosure through such contractual clauses. This paper aims at confronting the French competition authorities’ decisions with controversial debates in the field of economic theory. If on one hand such exclusive agreements foster incentives to invest and innovate, on the other hand they can be considered as exclusionary practices.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. Ruling on an appeal relating to precautionary measures in the iPhone exclusivity case, the Court of Cassation ruled on 16 February 2010 that "the suspension of Orange's exclusivity on the iPhone had not been sufficiently motivated" [1]. This case demonstrates the difficulties in drawing the line, both from an economic and legal point of view, between what promotes or hinders competition with regard to exclusive agreements in high-tech markets, but also the very strategic nature of these clauses in these markets [2]. Obtaining exclusivity increases incentives to invest and innovate, in particular in emerging markets. Emerging markets can be defined as

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  • CNRS (Sophia-Antipolis)
  • Côte d’Azur University, GREDEG (Nice)
  • INSEEC (Groupe OMNES Education)
  • Research center CREDECO-GREDEG (Nice)


Frédéric Marty, Patrice Bougette, Julien Pillot, Patrice Reis, Exclusivity provisions: The high-tech markets case, September 2010, Concurrences N° 3-2010, Art. N° 31868, pp. 65-74

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