Wednesday, June 16, 2021
This paper maps out some of the vertical restraints in the online environment that are particularly relevant from the consumer perspective. This article focuses on some of the most contentious vertical restraints that directly involve prices, are particularly relevant for online commerce and are harmful to consumers – resale price maintenance, price parity clauses, dual pricing and bans on price comparison websites. We look at how these vertical restraints have been analysed in the EU to date and where we should go from here from a consumer perspective. Notwithstanding this limited focus, other vertical restraints—especially on online sales, selective distribution systems, or non-compete obligations—can also have strong anti-competitive effects and harm (final) consumers.