The antitrust treatment of vertical restraints is quite controversial. In the United States, for example, warring vertical restraints guidelines were issued by the Department of Justice and National Association of Attorneys General, a group of antitrust enforcers from the individual states. However, a consensus was never achieved and these guidelines never entered the mainstream. Compare them to the U.S. Horizontal Merger Guidelines, which have become a template for evaluation of horizontal restraints.
The new EC Guidelines on Vertical Restraints Guidelines ("GVRs") represent a significant effort to create and implement a consistent analytic framework for evaluating vertical restraints. The scope of the project is quite significant. The category of vertical restraints represents a broad set of practices that raise an array of issues - efficiencies, collusion, foreclosure, intrabrand vs. interbrand competition and so on.
In this short article, I examine the central foreclosure issues in the GVRs. I focus mainly on the general enforcement policy, though I do discuss the block exemption regulation at the end. I examine the GVRs through the lens of economic analysis and the U.S. antitrust laws. I do not touch on resale price maintenance, market allocation or franchising.
Steven C. Salop, Analysis of Foreclosure in the EC Guidelines on Vertical Restraints, in ANNUAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW INSTITUTE, (Barry E. Hawk, ed., Fordham Corporate Law Institute, 2001)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Salop, Steven C., "Analysis of Foreclosure in the EC Guidelines on Vertical Restraints" (2001). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 1517.