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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG Competition - page 103 / 113

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244. Aftermarkets typically appear in competition cases when they are “proprietary”,

that is, when they are brand-specific in that secondary products that can be used with one brand

of primary product cannot be used with another brand of primary product, although the primary

products themselves are substitutes. The contentious issue is often that the supplier of a primary product attempts to reserve the secondary market for itself.

Market definitions may be too narrow 245. The application of traditional market definition tools such as the SSNIP-test to aftermarkets often leads to the definition of markets comprising only the products of the supplier of the primary product. Often patents or know-how will allow the supplier of the primary product to have a monopolistic position on the aftermarket.

Extent to which competition in primary market controls supplier of secondary products 246. The strong position of the supplier on such product markets may, however, not be

indicative of the actual degree of market power of the supplier, since it may be constrained by

competition in the primary market. If the primary market is competitive, competition in the primary market may make price increases in the aftermarket unprofitable due to its impact on sales in the primary market, unless prices in the primary market are lowered to offset the higher aftermarket price. Competition in the primary market may thus ensure that the overall price of the bundle of goods and services comprising the primary product and the secondary product(s) is competitive. In such a situation the supplier of the primary product cannot be said to be dominant on the aftermarket.

10.2 ASSESSMENT

10.2.1 MARKET DEFINITION144

Affects on primary market should be considered 247. At the market definition stage the Commission applies the normal approach described above in Section 3 on market definition.145 This means asking whether the secondary products in a

144

See also paragraph 56 of the Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market, cited in footnote 11.

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