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By John Cassels
Vertical price fixing, also known as resale price maintenance, is one of the more serious infringements of the EU competition rules. Agreements which include provisions that restrict a buyer's ability to determine its sale price are presumed to fall within the scope of the prohibition on restrictive agreements and not to meet the criteria for individual exemption. In addition, under the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption, such agreements cannot benefit from the Block Exemption.
Why, then, is it lawful for newspaper proprietors to supply newspapers to retailers with the price printed on the front of the paper? Is that not fixing the resale price for retailers? And what about other fast-moving-consumer-goods, such as packs of biscuits or chocolate bars that are sometimes supplied to retailers with the price emblazoned on the packaging?
What appears to be unlawful vertical price fixing can be lawful for any one or more of the following reasons:
If you would like to discuss these issues, please do not hesitate to contact John Cassels at email@example.com.