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Economic Analyses of Vertical Agreements. A Self-assessment

Professor Dr. Dr. Doris Hildebrand

Since the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) went into force in June 2000, companies are required to undertake a self-assessment of the possible consequences of their vertical agreements that is, of agreements that arise in a channel of distribution between firms at different levels of trade or industry, i.e., between a manufacturer and wholesaler, between a supplier and customer, or between a licensor of technology and his licensee. Such an assessment can be extremely complex. Although the European Commission has issued regulatory guidelines to facilitate the self-assessment process, there can be little doubt that the in-depth analysis and guidance provided in this book will be greatly welcomed by business people and their counsel.

Economic Analyses of Vertical Agreements clarifies the steps, tests, determinations, and evaluations entailed in assessing vertical agreements, especially when an individual examination under Article 81 EC Treaty is required (as it is for all companies with more than a 30% market share in a relevant market). Among the terms and factors thoroughly explained, from the various pertinent points of view, are the following:

  • vertical restraints and their components;
  • exclusive and selective distribution agreements;
  • channel strategies;
  • single branding;
  • free rider rationale; and,
  • the European structured rule of reason in Article 81 EC Treaty

The presentation is particularly notable for its wide-ranging discussion of types of vertical restraints and combinations of vertical restraints and how each is impacted by the new vertical agreement rules. The author also discusses the relevant case law of the EC Courts. Companies doing business in Europe and their legal and economic advisers will find here an absorbingly detailed overview of requirements and procedures, a clear analysis against which to measure strategic choices, and an enormously useful handbook to consult at every turn for expert guidance through the assessment of their vertical agreements.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction.

2. Vertical Restrains.

2.1. Definition of Vertical Restraints.

2.2. Block Exemption Regulation.

2.3. Types of Vertical Restraints.

3. Economics of Vertical Restrains.

3.1. Different Schools of Thought.

3.2. Competitive effects of Vertical Restrains.

3.3. Policy Conclusions on Vertical Restrains. 

4. Application of Article 81 to Vertical Restrains. 

4.1. General Principles of Article 81.

4.2. European "Structured" Rule of Reason.

4.3. Case Law of the EC Courts on Vertical Restrains.

4.4. The Commission's Guidelines. 

5. Self Assessment. 

5.1. Market Definition.

5.2. Market Share Calculation.

5.3. Applicability of Article 81 (1).

5.4. Applicability of Article 81 (3). 

6. Literature.

Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Kluwer Law International (1. Juli 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9041123288
ISBN-13: 978-9041123282

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