Intensified Resale Price Maintenance Enforcement in China, the EU and the US: Mitigating Antitrust Risk

Proactively Preparing for and Responding to Increased RPM Enforcement and Avoiding Costly Fines

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to antitrust counsel representing companies doing business in China and the EU on preparing for and responding to intensified enforcement of RPM and hub-and-spoke infringements in those jurisdictions. The panel will also discuss recent RPM enforcement in the US and best practices to minimize antitrust risk. A brief look at the particular enforcement procedures against RPM in China will also be included..

Description

Counsel to multinational companies must be prepared to respond to the latest developments in resale price maintenance (RPM) enforcement in the US and around the world – in particular in China.

Crackdowns are increasing in China against alleged RPM practices by foreign and domestic companies. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) – one of the antitrust agencies in China in charge of tackling price-related anti-competitive conduct – appears to consider resale price maintenance to be a per se violation of the law. Increased enforcement recently has resulted in fines of RMB 280 million and 33.8 million (approximately USD 35 million and 5 million) imposed on major automobile companies such as Volkswagen and Chrysler and their distributors.  Some of the recent cases also involve hub-and-spoke infringements, implying RPM as well as horizontal collusion.

In the United States, case law, statutes, and economic analyses concerning RPM continue to evolve. An important voice in the debate, the FTC's Commissioner Josh Wright, spoke out in 2014 advocating for a “flavour” of rule of reason treatment for minimum RPM that emphasizes maximizing consumer welfare. Courts and state legislatures (even at the federal level where Leegin has reigned supreme for seven years) still have a long way to go to reach a consensus on how to treat RPM. 

In the European Union, enforcement against RPM continues apace, mostly at the national level. In many cases, RPM infringements are found to have taken place in an effort to reign in online retailers, as was for instance the case for Recticel, a leading mattress manufacturer which the German Federal Cartel Office fined EUR 8.2 million (approximately USD 10.2 million) in August 2014. Several national authorities are also investigating hub-and-spoke infringements.

Listen as our authoritative panel of antitrust attorneys provides a thorough briefing on recent RPM enforcement developments in China, the EU and the US. The panel will discuss how these developments impact companies operating in the global market and will offer best practices for antitrust counsel to proactively prepare and respond.

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Outline

  1. Recent RPM developments
    1. China
    2. EU
    3. US
  2. What these developments mean for companies operating globally
  3. Best practices—responding to the RPM developments

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How will recent RPM enforcement developments in China impact companies doing business there?
  • What are the recent RPM enforcement developments in the EU that will have the most impact for companies operating in the EU?
  • What are the key considerations for counsel preparing for and responding to the potential impact of the recent heightened focus on RPM enforcement in the US and around the world?

Faculty

Jan Blockx
Jan Blockx

Hogan Lovells International

Mr. Blockx advises on all aspects of competition law as well as general EU law and has represented clients before the...  |  Read More

Meghan C. Edwards-Ford Rissmiller, Esq.
Meghan C. Edwards-Ford Rissmiller, Esq.

Hogan Lovells

Ms. Edwards-Ford Rissmiller focuses on antitrust litigation, merger clearance, and non-merger antitrust...  |  Read More

Adrian Emch
Adrian Emch

Partner
Hogan Lovells

Mr. Emch is a specialist in competition/antitrust law and has broad experience in all aspects of competition...  |  Read More

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