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The Rule of reason is a legal approach by competition authorities or the courts where an attempt is made to evaluate the pro-competitive features of a restrictive business practice against its anticompetitive effects in order to decide whether or not the practice should be prohibited.

Some market restrictions which prima facie give rise to competition issues may on further examination be found to have valid efficiency-enhancing benefits. For example, a manufacturer may restrict supply of a product in different geographic markets only to existing retailers so that they earn higher profits and have an incentive to advertise the product and provide better service to customers. This may have the effect of expanding the demand for the manufacturer's product more than the increase in quantity demanded at a lower price. The opposite of the rule of reason approach is to declare certain business practices per se illegal, that is, always illegal are per se illegal.

Source Publication:
Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993.


Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, January 3, 2002

Last updated on Sunday, March 17, 2002