In this issue:
How are RPM and MFN clauses affected in the brave new world of eCommerce? We start in Europe looking at the diversity of national approaches using the example of online booking, and then dive more deeply into a French case. We show that diversity also is a problem in the U.S., while India adds the complexity of foreign investments regulation. And we present two intellectual arguments with concrete implications for RPM cases, first arguing that pricing needs to be more than just an indication of competition concern and then evaluating using surrogates vs. rule-of-reason in antitrust inquiries.
RPM and MFN Clauses in a Brave New World
Online Hotel Booking
The outcome of ongoing national procedures concerning online hotel booking will be extremely important for the development of a European common digital market. Edurne Navarro Varona & Aarón Hernández Canales (Uría Menéndez)
Most Favored Nation Clauses: A French Perspective on the Booking.com Case
In the present case, while the competition concerns are explained in detail, many questions spring to mind that are not precisely addressed by the decision. Olivier Billard & Pierre Honoré (Bredin Prat)
Online Price Restraints Under U.S. Antitrust Law
Restraints on prices in electronic commerce in the United States are just like price restraints in the bricks-and-mortar world—except when they’re not. Richard M. Steuer (Mayer Brown LLP)
Most Favored Customer Clauses in Online Retail: Best Price or Bad Deal?
However, for online portals, it is possible that to work around the onerous conditions attached to FDI in multi-brand retail and yet benefit from foreign investment. Samir Gandhi, Rahul Rai, & Hemangini Dadwal (AZB & Partners)
Vertical Restraints and the Forgotten Function of Prices in Brand Management
Competition law risks overshooting the mark if no account is taken of both the fundamental use of price as a signal of quality and of the important role prices play for manufacturers in their overall “marketing mix” decisions. Roman Inderst (Goethe Univ.) & Frank Maier-Rigaud (NERA & IESEG)
On the Utility of Surrogates for Rule of Reason Cases
Should we prefer surrogates for antitrust violations that permit errors, or should we instead rely on a more nebulous rule-of-reason inquiry? Kevin Caves & Hal Singer (Economists Incorporated)