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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG Competition - page 104 / 113





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given aftermarket can be considered to form a relevant product market without taking into account effects on sales of the primary product giving rise to this particular aftermarket. In other words, the focus of the market definition exercise is on the aftermarket sales to customers who have already acquired the primary product and not on potential new future buyers of the primary product. The full effects of “bundle” or “systems” competition will thus be taken into account in the dominance analysis.

Primary market may not constraint producer in secondary products 248. An aftermarket consisting of the secondary products of one brand of primary product may not be a relevant product market in two situations. First, if it is possible to switch to

the secondary products of other producers. Even though a customer has bought one brand of primary product the customer may not be “locked in” in the aftermarket and would switch to the secondary products of other producers if prices in the aftermarket were to increase. In such a situation questions of dominance and abuse should be analysed on the common “aftermarket” including the secondary products of other producers.

Switch to another primary market 249. Secondly, it may be possible to switch to another primary product and thus avoid the higher prices in the aftermarket. This would require that switching costs are not so high as to make such an option too expensive. Switching costs can basically be of two types. First, it may not be possible to sell the used primary product at a sufficiently attractive price that a switch would be economical. This is more likely to be important if the price of the primary product is high compared to the costs of the secondary product. It should be kept in mind that prices in the market for secondhand primary products may be influenced by the same actions that lead customers to consider switching. For instance, higher prices for spare parts will often lead to lower prices for second-hand primary products. Secondly, there may be significant investments other than the price involved in switching to another primary product. Examples of such investments are training, changing routines, installations, software etc. Such investment costs may restrain a customer from switching even where there is a well-functioning market for second-hand primary goods. If the conclusion is reached that there is no separate aftermarket, the


See Case T-30/89 Hilti, cited in footnote 18, paragraph 66.

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