Vertical Restraints Report

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ICN Report

Working Group:

Unilateral Conduct





Assessment of vertical restraints
The Vertical Restraints Project was a multiyear project (2016-19) to examine the effects of various types of vertical restraints and their implications for competition in relevant markets. The Project’s scoping work identified an interest in focussing on vertical restraints in the online context, and the development of case studies providing theoretical analysis of issues arising with vertical restraints, including theories of harm, market failures, and efficiencies.

In the most recent phase of the project, the UCWG co-chairs developed two hypothetical scenarios. The first was an online parity requirement between accommodation providers and online travel agents. The second involved online sales restrictions imposed on retailers suppliers of infant strollers. A project group then assessed the scenarios and expressed views on the competition concerns associated with the various types of vertical restraints within. Reviewing the responses of the project group revealed diverging views across jurisdictions of the anti and pro-competitive effects of vertical restraints.

This report summarises the responses from the project group and highlights the differing views of the restraint imposed by firms in the hypothetical scenarios.

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