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This new volume analyses in considerable detail the antitrust issues arising from vertical restraints and presents a comprehensive map and critical assessment of current enforcement practice in the European Union. The purpose of the book is to provide extensive guidance to practitioners, businesses and researchers, as well as to contribute to the ongoing debate on the application of EU competition rules to distribution and other vertical agreements.
The book contains thoughtful contributions written by leading practitioners and scholars from different countries, which address the general framework for assessing vertical restraints and cover a wide range of vertical practices. After discussing the pro-competitive rationale and potential negative effects of vertical restraints and the introduction of an economic approach by the Commission, the book analyses the block exemption regulation and critically reviews the limits of the 2010 revision of EU rules on vertical restraints. The following chapters then explore in detail enforcement practices concerning the most commonly used vertical restrictions and specific agreements entered into by firms situated at different levels of the production chain. In particular, the authors provide an extensive review of the issues raised by the individual assessment of resale price restrictions, exclusive distribution and customer allocation, selective distribution, single-branding, tying, upfront access payments and category management. Special chapters are devoted also to franchising, agency and sub-contracting agreements. The book's continuous references to economic analysis insights and comparisons with the experiences of other legal systems contribute to its value and usefulness.