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On Efficiencies and Integration - The New Commission Policy on Vertical Restraints

Bengtsson, Martin (2001)
Department of Law
Abstract
This thesis discusses two main questions. First, the importance paid to the economic goal and the integration goal respectively in the new Commission policy. Second, I analyse an agreement covered by the new block exemption regulation in order to establish whether or not exempted agreements still prevent or restrict market integration and in addition what economic efficiencies are offered in stead. The thesis starts with description of the theory of vertical restraints and the case law of exclusive distribution agreements. The core of the thesis is chapters 3 to 5 where I describe the new Commission policy concluded from the different publications of the Commission, i.e. the Green Paper on Vertical Restraints, the Commission Guidelines on... (More)
This thesis discusses two main questions. First, the importance paid to the economic goal and the integration goal respectively in the new Commission policy. Second, I analyse an agreement covered by the new block exemption regulation in order to establish whether or not exempted agreements still prevent or restrict market integration and in addition what economic efficiencies are offered in stead. The thesis starts with description of the theory of vertical restraints and the case law of exclusive distribution agreements. The core of the thesis is chapters 3 to 5 where I describe the new Commission policy concluded from the different publications of the Commission, i.e. the Green Paper on Vertical Restraints, the Commission Guidelines on Vertical Restraints and the new block exemption regulation on Vertical Restraints 2790/99. Chapter 6 contains a description of the relevant articles of the agreement in question. An analysis and conclusion of what is presented in the previous chapters conclude the thesis. There I emphasise the importance paid to efficiencies, the economic goal and the integration goal in the various publications by the Commission. Finally, I apply the new block exemption regulation to the agreement in order to establish whether the regulation exempts agreements that nevertheless prevent or restrict integration. I also describe the economic efficiencies generated by the agreement. The new Commission policy with respect to Vertical Restraints has been changed. The policy is not as sceptic as it used to be and there will be a case-by-case assessment of the agreements. The economic aspects shall be considered further but the integration aspect is still equally important. There is a tendency in case law that the Court applies a rule of reason approach. My opinion is that this approach should be questioned. EC competition law is different from other competition law statutes in that EC competition law also takes account of and promotes market integration. The economics based approach is useful and perhaps even beneficial in the assessment of restrictions on competition but definitively not in the assessment of restrictions on market integration. There is a risk that the integration goal becomes secondary in the assessment where this approach is applied. My personal opinion, shown in this thesis is that the promotion of market integration is a fundamental objective in EC competition law and as such should not be downgraded into a secondary objective following an economics based approach with respect to the assessment under Article 81. Thus, the wording of Article 81 and the additional regulations takes due account of both the economic goal and the integration goal. The emphasis on the economic aspects is still to be made in relation to the application of the rules in Article 81 and the regulations. Hence, the application of the rules decides the importance to be paid to the economic goal and the integration goal respectively. As far as the application of the new Commission policy on the agreement is concerned I come to the conclusion that despite the fact that it restricts both competition and market integration there are great benefits from the agreement on both competition and market integration. Thus, the restrictions imposed by the agreement increase and improve market integration in particular. It is therefore possible to state that despite the fact that market integration is restricted by the agreement, it also promotes market integration. (Less)
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author
Bengtsson, Martin
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Konkurrensrätt, EG-rätt
language
English
id
1556105
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:19
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:19
@misc{1556105,
  abstract     = {This thesis discusses two main questions. First, the importance paid to the economic goal and the integration goal respectively in the new Commission policy. Second, I analyse an agreement covered by the new block exemption regulation in order to establish whether or not exempted agreements still prevent or restrict market integration and in addition what economic efficiencies are offered in stead. The thesis starts with description of the theory of vertical restraints and the case law of exclusive distribution agreements. The core of the thesis is chapters 3 to 5 where I describe the new Commission policy concluded from the different publications of the Commission, i.e. the Green Paper on Vertical Restraints, the Commission Guidelines on Vertical Restraints and the new block exemption regulation on Vertical Restraints 2790/99. Chapter 6 contains a description of the relevant articles of the agreement in question. An analysis and conclusion of what is presented in the previous chapters conclude the thesis. There I emphasise the importance paid to efficiencies, the economic goal and the integration goal in the various publications by the Commission. Finally, I apply the new block exemption regulation to the agreement in order to establish whether the regulation exempts agreements that nevertheless prevent or restrict integration. I also describe the economic efficiencies generated by the agreement. The new Commission policy with respect to Vertical Restraints has been changed. The policy is not as sceptic as it used to be and there will be a case-by-case assessment of the agreements. The economic aspects shall be considered further but the integration aspect is still equally important. There is a tendency in case law that the Court applies a rule of reason approach. My opinion is that this approach should be questioned. EC competition law is different from other competition law statutes in that EC competition law also takes account of and promotes market integration. The economics based approach is useful and perhaps even beneficial in the assessment of restrictions on competition but definitively not in the assessment of restrictions on market integration. There is a risk that the integration goal becomes secondary in the assessment where this approach is applied. My personal opinion, shown in this thesis is that the promotion of market integration is a fundamental objective in EC competition law and as such should not be downgraded into a secondary objective following an economics based approach with respect to the assessment under Article 81. Thus, the wording of Article 81 and the additional regulations takes due account of both the economic goal and the integration goal. The emphasis on the economic aspects is still to be made in relation to the application of the rules in Article 81 and the regulations. Hence, the application of the rules decides the importance to be paid to the economic goal and the integration goal respectively. As far as the application of the new Commission policy on the agreement is concerned I come to the conclusion that despite the fact that it restricts both competition and market integration there are great benefits from the agreement on both competition and market integration. Thus, the restrictions imposed by the agreement increase and improve market integration in particular. It is therefore possible to state that despite the fact that market integration is restricted by the agreement, it also promotes market integration.},
  author       = {Bengtsson, Martin},
  keyword      = {Konkurrensrätt,EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {On Efficiencies and Integration - The New Commission Policy on Vertical Restraints},
  year         = {2001},
}