Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The Regulatory Challenge to Branding: An Interpretation of UK Competition Authority Investigations 1950-2007
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
John Ashton (Norwich Business School and the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia) and Andrew Pressey (Management School, Lancaster University) analyze The Regulatory Challenge to Branding: An Interpretation of UK Competition Authority Investigations 1950-2007.
ABSTRACT: This study examines if, and how, branding constitutes an anticompetitive act. These questions are assessed through an examination of UK competition cases undertaken over the period 1950-2007. From this assessment it is observed that branding can facilitate excessive pricing, requires vertical restraints, and can lead to consumer confusion. Competition cases focused on branding issues are demonstrably different from cases without branding concerns and involve larger, often manufacturing, firms, which operate in more concentrated markets. It is concluded that competition law needs to be disseminated more widely amongst business communities. This will require greater prominence for competition policy within business school syllabi and greater reference to business and management theory on the part of competition law agencies would assist the comprehension of business techniques such as branding.