Vertical Restraints in an Online World – the Consumer Perspective

11 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2021

See all articles by Vanessa Turner

Vanessa Turner

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation

Agustin Reyna

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation

Nicolas Fafchamps

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 19, 2021

Abstract

This paper maps out some of the vertical restraints in the online environment that are particularly relevant from the consumer perspective. This article focuses on some of the most contentious vertical restraints that directly involve prices, are particularly relevant for online commerce and are harmful to consumers – resale price maintenance, price parity clauses, dual pricing and bans on price comparison websites. We look at how these vertical restraints have been analysed in the EU to date and where we should go from here from a consumer perspective. Notwithstanding this limited focus, other vertical restraints—especially on online sales, selective distribution systems, or non-compete obligations—can also have strong anti-competitive effects and harm (final) consumers.

Keywords: EU Competition Law; Article 101 TFEU; Vertical Block Exemption Regulation; Resale Price Maintenance, Parity Clauses, Dual Pricing; Consumer Welfare;

JEL Classification: K10, K12, K2, K20, K21, K4, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Turner, Vanessa and Reyna, Agustin and Fafchamps, Nicolas, Vertical Restraints in an Online World – the Consumer Perspective (April 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3829736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3829736

Vanessa Turner

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation ( email )

80 rue d'Arlon
Brussels, Brussels 1040
Belgium

Agustin Reyna (Contact Author)

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation ( email )

Nicolas Fafchamps

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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