The Peculiarities of the Assessment of the Use of Recommended Resale Prices under Article 81 of the European Community Treaty

Daivis Švirinas

Abstract


This research paper deals with the assessment of the use of recommended resale prices in vertical relations between the supplier and the reseller. The author of the paper states that usually the use of recommended prices does not raise competition concerns and does not infringe Article 81 of the European Community (EC) Treaty because it does not conform with the concept of an ‘agreement’ under this article and, therefore, does not restrict competition within the relevant market. It is alleged that a recommendation is a unilateral act and even if the reseller uses the recommended prices, the agreement between the supplier and the reseller cannot be automatically established. A recommendation becomes an ‘agreement’ if all the three following facts are established: firstly, the supplier expresses a clear intention to use the recommended prices jointly, i.e. with the help of the reseller; secondly, the supplier uses the means of direct or indirect inducement or coercion to induce or force the reseller to adhere to the prices recommended; thirdly, the reseller implements the supplier’s recommendations on prices, since in the case of resistance to the supplier’s suggested price policy a vertical agreement is not considered to have been made.

Keywords


recommended resale prices; resale price maintenance; agreement; unilateral conduct; collusion; explicit or tacit acquiescence; agreements of minor importance; block exemption

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236