ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Josef Drexl, Warren S. Grimes, Clifford A. Jones, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Edward T. Swaine
Chapter 7: Competition Law Issues Concerning Related Markets and their Treatment under EU Competition Law
Thomas Eilmansberger INTRODUCTION 1 Most products are useless on a stand-alone basis and depend on other products (or services) to fulfil their function. The mere fact, however, that a good can be used only together or in connection with another good does not as such impact on consumer choice and competition in the markets concerned. The situation may be different if such necessarily combined use makes significant demands on the design or functionality of one or both products in question. Such compatibility requirements frequently arise with regard to products (‘secondary products’) that are complementary in the sense that their purpose is to make another product or service (‘primary product’) function in a better way or at all.1 There appear to be basically two types of secondary product that have to meet such compatibility demands (typically created by certain technical properties of the primary product), namely (i) products that are destined to eventually either become an integral part of or be attached to another product,2 and (ii) products enabling another product to do its job and fulfil its basic function.3 It is obvious that such compatibility requirements, or more precisely, the resulting interfaces, have the potential to restrict access to the product markets concerned. That applies, in particular, if the interface can somehow be controlled by the maker of the primary product. It is thus not surprising that antitrust enforcement in the EU has often had to deal with practices, For an antitrust analysis from a US perspective see, e.g....
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