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BWB´s 6th Competition Talk

On June 18th the sixth Competition Talk of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority on Vertic

On June 18th the sixth Competition Talk of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority on Vertical price-fixing took place. Panelists:  Anastasios Xeniadis (BWB) and Heinrich Kühnert (bpv Hügel RA).

Vertical price fixing - not a new topic for BWB

Director General, Thanner, emphasized in his introduction, that the issue of vertical price fixing and price maintenance is not new for the BWB. Already in 2008, the Federal Competition Authority organized the "Resale Price Maintanance conference" where many antitrust experts exchanged their point of views and participants were informed about the do's and don'ts for vertical agreements.
In the meantime BWB has started an information campaign with the Chamber of Commerce.
Now BWB published guidelines on this issue and asks for comments until August 1st .

Vertical price fixing in practise

Xeniadis and Kuehnert and about 60 guests discussed extensively these guidelines. Kühnert initially stressed that not every vertical agreement was inherently bad as there is not always a disadvantage for consumers.

Xeniadis put emphasis on many "vertical cases" BWB worked on and brought to court during the recent years. Especially in the sectors of insulation, electronics and food many agreements were uncovered and stopped.

The guidelines

Finally it was discussed how precise guidelines could be. Although for consumers and undertakers a clear list for allowed and forbidden behavior would be fine, in reality there are nevertheless many exemptions. Therefore guidelines could never avoid an investigation on a case-by-case basis.