Friday, March 26, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
MATTHEW BENNETT, AMELIA FLETCHER, EMANUELE GIOVANNETTI & DAVID STALLIBRASS (all OFT) discuss Resale price maintenance: Explaining the controversy, and small steps towards a more nuanced policy.
ABSTRACT: The paper sets out why we consider that the legal framework in the EU amplifies what are in reality relatively small differences in thinking around RPM. Primarily, this is because it asks economists, in the name of legal certainty, to draw a false dichotomy between agreements and practices which are harmful and those which are beneficial. We then provide a summary of the literature on RPM and, based on this thinking, set out a few small steps that might be taken towards a more nuanced approach to assessing RPM, within a 'presumed illegality' framework without sacrificing the beneficial legal certainty that the current approach brings.