Brands, Product Differentiation and EU Competition Law

D. Desai, I. Lianos & S. Weber Waller (eds.), Brands, Competition Law and IP (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

CLES Research Paper No. 7/2014

29 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2014 Last revised: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by Ioannis Lianos

Ioannis Lianos

University College London - Faculty of Laws; BRICS Competition Law & Policy Centre - HSE National Research University

Date Written: September 1, 2014

Abstract

The paper explores how EU competition law has integrated so far the concept of brands in different areas of enforcement. Although EU competition law has engaged in multiple instances with branding and product differentiation, brands do not yet constitute an operational concept in EU competition law. This is due to an important uncertainty as to the normative choices that need to be made with regard to the relation between brands and the formation of consumer preferences. The concerns raised by retailer power and the development of private labels also indicate that the existing economic theory on product differentiation may not also provide a complete picture on the effects of brands on the competitive process and ultimately on consumers. Competition law will also need to tackle the issues raised by the development of ‘social branding’ and the dialogic interaction between brand owners and consumers in the constitution of their brand identity.

Keywords: Brand, Product Differentiation, Advertising, Branding, Social Brands, Monopolistic Competition, Imperfect Competition, Consumer Choice, Consumer Welfare, Private Labels, Veblen Goods, Market Power, Franchise, Selective Distribution, Competition, Antitrust, Brand Loyalty

JEL Classification: K21, L4, L42

Suggested Citation

Lianos, Ioannis, Brands, Product Differentiation and EU Competition Law (September 1, 2014). D. Desai, I. Lianos & S. Weber Waller (eds.), Brands, Competition Law and IP (Cambridge University Press, 2015), CLES Research Paper No. 7/2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2542970

Ioannis Lianos (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

London
United Kingdom

BRICS Competition Law & Policy Centre - HSE National Research University ( email )

28/11, Shabolovka ulitsa
Moscow, 109028
Russia

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