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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG Competition - page 108 / 113





108 / 113

260. Generally speaking, the stronger the competition on the primary market, and the

weaker the position of the supplier in question on this market, the less likely it is that the supplier

in question can be considered dominant on the aftermarket because of the link between the primary market and the aftermarket described above. This link is in particular likely to protect future customers in the primary market.

Supplier may change its policy 261. A supplier may, however, at a certain point decide to change policy and raise prices

in the aftermarket or restrict the possibilities of other suppliers in the aftermarket. This means that the supplier is no longer restrained in the aftermarket by the link with the primary market. The supplier may therefore be found to have a dominant position.

Installed base opportunism 262. Such a policy change is sometimes called “installed-base opportunism”. Installed- base opportunism is more likely to take place when the future prospects for the supplier in the market are poor, for instance because the market is declining or the supplier has decided to exit or is loosing market share. On the other hand, even a supplier in these conditions may hesitate to engage in installed-base opportunism if such behaviour can hurt its reputation in other markets.

Counter-strategies to installed base opportunism 263. Some customers may be protected against installed-base opportunism by contractual provisions such as long-term service contracts, non-discrimination clauses or the possibility to switch to other suppliers of primary or aftermarket products. If many customers are protected in this way, the overall damage to customers from the change in policy may be relatively limited.


If dominant in aftermarket, presumption that abusive to exclude from aftermarket

264. If a dominant position on an aftermarket has been established following the methodology described above, the Commission presumes that it is abusive for the dominant company to reserve the aftermarket for itself by excluding competitors from that market. Such exclusion is

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