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Competition

Hub-and-spoke arrangements in competition

 

 4 December 2019  Paris  

Hub-and-spoke arrangements are horizontal restrictions on the supplier or retailer level (the “spokes”), which are implemented through vertically related players that serve as a common “hub” (e.g., a common manufacturer, retailer or service provider). The “hub” facilitates the co-ordination of competition between the “spokes” without direct contacts between the spokes. In the extreme, the effects of a horizontal hard-core cartel can be achieved purely based on indirect communication between the horizontally aligned members of a hub and spoke arrangement.

The role of vertical restraints in facilitating horizontal collusion meets renewed interest by the enforcement and business community, in particular in the light of an increased use of pricing related tools and contractual provisions in e-commerce transactions. The business community faces the challenge of complying with legal standards which may be still unclearly defined, and awaiting clarification by the courts, through enforcement practice or agency guidelines.

In December 2019, the OECD held a roundtable to explore different types of vertically organised horizontal collusion, theories of harm, standards of proof, and specific challenges raised in the e-commerce context. Market structures that warrant particular attention by competition agencies when pursuing these kinds of cases, and prioritisation of enforcement action vis-à-vis standard hard-core cartel arrangements were also considered.

This page contains all related materials.

» See full list of best practice roundtables on competition

 

INVITED SPEAKERS

Matthew BENNETT Bio   

Vice President, Charles River Associates, London

Rachel S. BRASS Bio   

Partner, Gibson Dunn, San Francisco

Okeoghene ODUDU Bio   

Senior Lecturer, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

 

DOCUMENTS

» OECD Background note • Note de réflexion de l'OCDE

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Summaries of contributions

 

 

comp-hub-spoke-arrangements 

Read the OECD background note

Access the list of roundtables

PRESENTATIONS

RELATED BEST PRACTICE ROUNDTABLES

Competition and cross platform parity agreements 2015

Implications of E-commerce for Competition Policy 2018

Resale Price Maintenance 2008

Vertical Restraints for On-line Sales 2013

Information Exchanges Between Competitors under Competition Law 2010

Taxi, ride-sourcing and ride-sharing services 2018

Prosecuting Cartels without Direct Evidence 2006

SEE ALSO

2019 OECD Council Recommendation concerning effective action against hard core cartels

Cartels and anti-competitive agreements

Competition enforcement practices

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition

 

Related Documents