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Vertical Collusion: Hub and Spoke, RPM and Category Management

October 15, 2009 • London, United Kingdom


Organized by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

This public meeting aims to provide a high level debate on two substantive issues that are increasingly relevant for EC competition law: (i) the use of 'hub and spoke' arrangements as collusive devices; and (ii) the use of other techniques (such as information exchange, resale price maintenance and category management) to facilitate collusion.

In relation to 'hub and spoke' arrangements, the meeting will aim to analyze the following issues:

  • The rationale behind hub and spoke arrangements;
  • How to conceptualize hub and spoke arrangements (e.g. agreement vs. concerted practice);
  • The economic theory of harm underlying the punishment of hub and spoke arrangements;
  • The conditions under which hub and spoke arrangements become/should become problematic under EC competition law;
  • Reaction to Member State jurisprudence on this issue of hub and spoke;
  • How US jurisprudence deals with the issue of hub and spoke;
  • Hub and spoke arrangements and their treatment under national criminal law.

In relation to the use of other arrangements/techniques to facilitate collusion (such as information exchange, resale price maintenance and category management), the meeting will aim to analyze the following issues:

  • The problems with information exchange among competitors (including via a third upstream/downstream party);
  • Should RPM remain a hard core restriction under EC competition law?;
  • Category management and potential risks to competition;
  • Information exchange, RPM, category management and the prioritization policies of the EC and NCAs;
  • How to ensure compliance with EC law on information exchange, RPM and category management.

Sean-Paul Brankin is part of a panel at this event.

Official Event Site

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