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Are restrictions of competition by sports associations horizontal or vertical in nature?

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  • Budzinski, Oliver
  • Szymanski, Stefan

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss from an economic perspective two alternative views of restrictions of competition by sports associations. The horizontal approach views such restrictions as an agreement among the participants of a sports league with the sports association merely representing an organization executing the horizontal cooperation. In contrast, the vertical approach views the sports association as being a dominant upstream firm enjoying a monopoly position on the market stage for competition organizing services, an important input for the actual product - the sports game. Taking the recent financial fair play (FFP) initiative by UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) as an example, we demonstrate that the different views lead to different assessments of restrictive effects and, thus, matter for competition policy decisions. The economic story of the potential restrictive effect of FFP on players' and player agents' income may fit more plausibly to the horizontal approach, whereas the potentially anticompetitive foreclosure and deterrence effects of FFP may be economically more soundly reasoned by taking the vertical view.

Suggested Citation

  • Budzinski, Oliver & Szymanski, Stefan, 2014. "Are restrictions of competition by sports associations horizontal or vertical in nature?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 86, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuiedp:86
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets," Working Papers 108/11, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    2. Thomas Peeters & Stefan Szymanski, 2014. "Financial fair play in European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(78), pages 343-390, April.
    3. Stephen F. Ross, 2003. "Competition Law as a Constraint on Monopolistic Exploitation by Sports Leagues and Clubs," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 569-584, Winter.
    4. Egon Franck, 2014. "Financial Fair Play in European Club Football: What Is It All About?," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 9(3), pages 193-217, August.
    5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    6. Henning Vöpel, 2011. "Do We Really Need Financial Fair Play in European Club Football? An Economic Analysis," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(3), pages 54-60, October.
    7. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-146, June.
    8. Thomas Hoehn & Stefan Szymanski, 1999. "The Americanization of European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 203-240, April.
    9. Budzinski, Oliver, 2014. "The competition economics of financial fair play," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 85, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:215-233 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Budzinski, Oliver & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "The behavioural economics of competitive balance: Implications for league policy and championship management," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 89, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    3. Budzinski, Oliver, 2017. "Market-internal financial regulation in sports as an anticompetitive institution," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 110, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    4. Budzinski, Oliver, 2014. "The competition economics of financial fair play," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 85, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    5. Budzinski, Oliver, 2017. "Four cases in sports competition policy: Baseball, judo, football, and motor racing," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 109, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European competition policy; sports economics; financial fair play; horizontal agreements; vertical restrictions; European football; antitrust;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • 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
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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