, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Unfinished business: The new approach to assessing vertical restraints

  • Simon Bishop
Vertical Agreements


The new approach to assessing the competitive effects of vertical agreements is to be welcomed. For too long, European competition law on vertical restraints has been dominated by the “block-exemption dependency culture” that has stifled discussion about economic effects and cut down the number of reasoned decisions the Commission has been forced to issue.

There is however a long way to go before a fully coherent policy on vertical agreements is developed, and this paper has highlighted some areas where the current views on the application of the new approach are either misconceived or incomplete. In particular, there remains a danger that the number of decisions will be stifled by excessive reliance on market share tests. Under the new regime, there should be a strong onus on the Commission and national competition authorities both to develop and extend the economic thinking contained in its Guidelines and to produce reasoned decisions that set out what agreements will be viewed as acceptable and those which will not.


Market Share Competition Authority Relevant Market Market Definition Dominant Firm 
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  1. 1. c_29120001013en00010044.pdf2 Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For further discussion see Simon Bishop and Mike Walker: The Economics of EC Competition Law, London 1999, Sweet & Maxwell. Also see Valentine Korah: An introductory guide to EEC competition law and practice, 4th ed., Oxford 1990, ESC Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    See Simon Bishop and Derek Ridyard: Oscar Bronner: Legitimate Refusals to Supply, in: John Grayston (ed.): European Economics & Law—Competition, Trade and the Single Market, Poole 1999, Palladian Law Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    See Simon Baker and Simon Bishop: Market definition in monopoly and dominance cases, OFT Economic Research Paper No. 2, 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© HWWA and Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Bishop
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.NERALondonUK
  2. 2.BrusselsBelgium

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