Resale price maintenance (RPM) specifies the final price that retailers charge consumers. This roundtable focused on the use of RPM for books, newspapers and similar cultural products. RPM, like other vertical restraints, may help resolve problems of coordination between upstream and downstream firms and thus may increase their combined profits. Issues in the economics of RPM include eliminating double mark-ups and preventing free-riding and “cream skimming”, while guarding against horizontal collusion and prevention of entry. In the legal treatment of RPM for books and cultural products, views of competition authorities and cultural authorities may conflict. At the time of this roundtable (1997), RPM was generally prohibited in almost all OECD countries, but in many an exemption permitted some form of RPM for books, newspapers and some cultural products (and in some, for medicaments). And some countries have a procedure for authorising RPM case by case. This document comprises proceedings in the original languages of a Roundtable on Resale Price Maintenance which was held by the Committee on Competition Law and Policy in February 1997. It is published as a general distribution document under the responsibility of the Secretary General of the OECD to bring information on this topic to the attention of a wider audience. This compilation is one of several published in a series names “Competition Policy Roundtables”.
Resale Price Maintenance