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Resale Price Maintenance and Horizontal Cartel

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  • Patrick Rey
  • Thibaud Verge

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Abstract

Whereas non-price restrictions such as exclusive territories are often tolerated while Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) is rather unanimously forbidden, the economic analysis shows so far that both types of restraints have positive and negative effects on welfare, in such a way that the balance is not clearly in favour of non-price restrictions. An often expressed idea to justify the courts' decisions against RPM is that it can limit both inter- and intra-brand competition. This paper analyses this argument in a context where manufacturers and retailers have interlocking relationships. It is shown that even as part of purely bilateral vertical contracts, RPM indeed limits the exercise of both inter- an intra-brand competition and can even generate industry-wide monopoly pricing. The final impact on prices depends on the substituability between retailers and between manufacturers, and on the extent of potential competition at the retail level.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Rey & Thibaud Verge, 2002. "Resale Price Maintenance and Horizontal Cartel," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/047, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:02/047
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    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp47.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnet, Céline & Dubois, Pierre & Simioni, Michel, 2004. "Two-Part Tariffs versus Linear Pricing between Manufacturers and Retailers: Empirical Tests on Differentiated Products Markets," IDEI Working Papers 370, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Apr 2006.
    2. Reisinger, Markus & Schnitzer, Monika, 2008. "A Model of Vertical Oligopolistic Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 3189, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Using Retail Data For Upstream Merger Analysis," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 689-715.
    4. Céline Bonnet & Pierre Dubois, 2010. "Inference on vertical contracts between manufacturers and retailers allowing for nonlinear pricing and resale price maintenance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 139-164.
    5. Bedre-Defolie, Ö., 2012. "Vertical coordination through renegotiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 553-563.
    6. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
    7. Bang, Se Hoon & Jin, Yangsoo, 2015. "Brand-specificity of pre-sale services and inter-brand competition with resale price maintenance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-9.
    8. Igor Muraviev, 2007. "Equilibrium Configurations of Distribution Channels in Bilaterally Oligopolistic Industries," Working Papers hal-00243078, HAL.
    9. Marcel Canoy & S. Onderstal, 2003. "Tight oligopolies: in search of proportionate remedies," CPB Document 29, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    10. Switgard Feuerstein, 2005. "Collusion in Industrial Economics—A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 163-198, December.
    11. Rebecca Hellerstein & Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2006. "Arm's-length transactions as a source of incomplete cross-border transmission: the case of autos," Staff Reports 251, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    12. Bennett, Matthew & Fletcher, Amelia & Giovannetti, Emanuele & Stallibrass, David, 2010. "Resale price maintenance: Explaining the controversy, and small steps towards a more nuanced policy," MPRA Paper 21121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Xulia González, 2006. "Some empirical regularities on vertical restraints," Working Papers 0607, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    14. Cohen, Michael, 2010. "Determining the Impact of Retailer Store Brand Procurement on Vertical Relationships with Brand Manufacturers and on Market Equilibrium," Research Reports 149968, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    resale price maintenance; collusion; successive duopoly;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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