The Vertical Horizontal Dichotomy in Competition Law: Some Reflections with Regard to Dual Distribution and Private Labels
University College London - Faculty of Laws
May 5, 2009
PRIVATE LABELS, BRANDS AND COMPETITION POLICY, Ariel Ezrachi & Ulf Bernitz, (eds.), pp. 161-186, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009
The vertical/horizontal distinction is an important feature of modern competition law.This paper will first examine the genealogy of the vertical/horizontal dichotomy in the United States (US) and in European Communities (EC) competition law. It will then analyse the application of the dichotomy in situations of hybrid practices, dual distribution practices, and private labels, where the relation between the supplier and the distributor presents a vertical and a horizontal dimension. The vertical/horizontal dichotomy may find its limits in these situations. After highlighting the reasons and distinct principles that led to the formulation of these specific categories, the study will delve into the utility of the vertical/ horizontal dichotomy and will suggest alternative interpretations of these categories which are both analytically rigorous and consistent with the objectives of EC competition law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: distribution, competition, antitrust, dual distribution, private labels, vertical restraints
JEL Classification: K21, L42
Date posted: May 8, 2009
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