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Resale Price Maintenance and Consumer Welfare

Ryman, Filip LU (2014) JURM02 20141
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Vertikala restriktioner och särskilt sådana gällande pris har i allmänhet ansetts ha negativa effekter på konkurrens under en lång tid, både i USA och i EU. Prisgolv har en lång historia av att ses som konkurrensbegränsande. I USA har det setts som per se olagligt i nästan hundra år under Sherman Act avsnitt 2. Under de senaste decennierna har det dock skett en förändring i synen på prisgolv, som börjar med att framstående ekonomer argumenterade att olagligheten var grundlös. Denna utveckling startade på 60-talet, med Chicagoskolan som förtrupp för denna kampanj. Det har varit en pågående utveckling som kulminerade i fallet Leegin där högsta domstolen ersatte per se olagligheten den med en tillämpning av Rule of Reason doktrinen.

Inom... (More)
Vertikala restriktioner och särskilt sådana gällande pris har i allmänhet ansetts ha negativa effekter på konkurrens under en lång tid, både i USA och i EU. Prisgolv har en lång historia av att ses som konkurrensbegränsande. I USA har det setts som per se olagligt i nästan hundra år under Sherman Act avsnitt 2. Under de senaste decennierna har det dock skett en förändring i synen på prisgolv, som börjar med att framstående ekonomer argumenterade att olagligheten var grundlös. Denna utveckling startade på 60-talet, med Chicagoskolan som förtrupp för denna kampanj. Det har varit en pågående utveckling som kulminerade i fallet Leegin där högsta domstolen ersatte per se olagligheten den med en tillämpning av Rule of Reason doktrinen.

Inom EU har det skett en liknande utveckling. Detta har emellertid inte lett till ett liknande resultat. Prisgolv, som en vertikal restriktion har alltid setts som konkurrensbegränsande och även nu efter utvecklingen i USA och en liknande förändring åt att se mer positivt på vertikala restriktioner så finns fortfarande en stark presumtion om illegalitet gällande prisgolv.

Denna uppsats undersöker sambandet mellan prisgolv och konsumenternas välfärd. Avhandlingen visar konsumenternas välfärd har en stark plats i bedömningen inom konkurrensrätten. Även om den inte har den status som den har i den amerikanska konkurrensrätten, så är den fortfarande mycket närvarande, särskilt på en praktisk nivå.

Avhandlingen fortsätter att undersöka olika ekonomiska teorier om effekterna av prosgolv och tydligt visar en tvetydighet när det gäller dessa. I brist på empiriska bevis och teoretiskt stöd för en allmän presumtion om olaglighet mot prisgolv så finner denna avhandling att en lämplig metod skulle vara ett borttagande av statusen som en allvarlig restriktion och nämnda presumtion. Istället skall man röra sig mot en tillämpning av den Amerikanska Rule of Reason doktrinen genom en renare tillämpning av Artikel 101(3) TFEU. (Less)
Abstract
Vertical restrictions and especially price restriction has generally been deemed anticompetitive during the years, both in the US as well as in the EU. Minimum resale price maintenance has a long history of being seen as anti-competitive. In the USA there has been a per se illegality regarding RPM for almost a hundred years under the Sherman Act section 2. However, in the last decades there has been a change in the attitude towards RPM, starting with prominent economists arguing that the per se illegality was without grounds. This development started in the 60s, with the Chicago School as the vanguard for this crusade. It has been an ongoing development which culminated in the removal of the per se illegality in Leegin, where the Supreme... (More)
Vertical restrictions and especially price restriction has generally been deemed anticompetitive during the years, both in the US as well as in the EU. Minimum resale price maintenance has a long history of being seen as anti-competitive. In the USA there has been a per se illegality regarding RPM for almost a hundred years under the Sherman Act section 2. However, in the last decades there has been a change in the attitude towards RPM, starting with prominent economists arguing that the per se illegality was without grounds. This development started in the 60s, with the Chicago School as the vanguard for this crusade. It has been an ongoing development which culminated in the removal of the per se illegality in Leegin, where the Supreme Court substituted it with the Rule of Reason.

In the European Union there has been a similar development. This however has not lead to a similar result. RPM, as a vertical restraint has always been seen as anticompetitive and even now after the development in the USA and a similar loosening of the snare around vertical restraint in the EU there is a quite harsh presumption of illegality.

This thesis investigates the relationship between resale price maintenance (RPM) and consumer welfare. The thesis shows that there is a solid role for consumer welfare within competition law. While it does not have the status that it has in the US antitrust system but is still very present, especially at a practical level.

The thesis continues to investigate different economic theories regarding the effects of minimum RPM and clearly shows an ambiguity regarding the theoretical effects. In lack of empirical evidence as well as theoretical support for a general presumption of illegality towards RPM this thesis concludes that the appropriate approach would be a removal of the status as a hard core restriction and said presumption and by moving towards the US Rule of Reason approach through a pure application of Article 101(3). (Less)
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author
Ryman, Filip LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Competition Law, Law and Economics
language
English
id
4451554
date added to LUP
2014-06-12 09:06:10
date last changed
2014-06-12 09:06:10
@misc{4451554,
  abstract     = {Vertical restrictions and especially price restriction has generally been deemed anticompetitive during the years, both in the US as well as in the EU. Minimum resale price maintenance has a long history of being seen as anti-competitive. In the USA there has been a per se illegality regarding RPM for almost a hundred years under the Sherman Act section 2. However, in the last decades there has been a change in the attitude towards RPM, starting with prominent economists arguing that the per se illegality was without grounds. This development started in the 60s, with the Chicago School as the vanguard for this crusade. It has been an ongoing development which culminated in the removal of the per se illegality in Leegin, where the Supreme Court substituted it with the Rule of Reason.

In the European Union there has been a similar development. This however has not lead to a similar result. RPM, as a vertical restraint has always been seen as anticompetitive and even now after the development in the USA and a similar loosening of the snare around vertical restraint in the EU there is a quite harsh presumption of illegality.

This thesis investigates the relationship between resale price maintenance (RPM) and consumer welfare. The thesis shows that there is a solid role for consumer welfare within competition law. While it does not have the status that it has in the US antitrust system but is still very present, especially at a practical level.

The thesis continues to investigate different economic theories regarding the effects of minimum RPM and clearly shows an ambiguity regarding the theoretical effects. In lack of empirical evidence as well as theoretical support for a general presumption of illegality towards RPM this thesis concludes that the appropriate approach would be a removal of the status as a hard core restriction and said presumption and by moving towards the US Rule of Reason approach through a pure application of Article 101(3).},
  author       = {Ryman, Filip},
  keyword      = {Competition Law,Law and Economics},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Resale Price Maintenance and Consumer Welfare},
  year         = {2014},
}