Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Role of Private Labels in Antitrust

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Chris Doyle and Richard Murgatroyd (both RBB Economics) discuss The Role of Private Labels in Antitrust.

ABSTRACT: Private labels now play a key role in a wide range of industries. Consequently, it is crucial that antitrust practitioners fully understand how private labels can affect the level and nature of competition in the markets in which they are present. However, we argue that insufficient consideration has generally been given to the potentially complex and multifaceted effect that private labels can have on shaping the competitive dynamics of markets, and that a detailed and nuanced understanding is required to make a complete assessment of competition in the markets concerned. After first providing an overview of relevant background information, we discuss how private label products may affect competition in a variety of contexts, with reference to both economic theory and experiences from recent mergers and market investigations, and highlight some key considerations.

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