Resale Price Maintenance: An Empirical Analysis of UK Firms' Compliance


  • Emanuele Giovannetti thanks Marta Troya Martinez for her invaluable help, Amelia Fletcher for careful discussions on this topic, the archives and the Preliminary Investigations Unit of the OFT for their help in retrieving the data, and Steve Davies, David Ruck, Milton Hugo Salas Martínez and Fiorenzo Bovenzi for their help with the research. A related paper was presented to the ESRC Workshop on ‘Optimal Enforcement and Decision Procedures for Competition Policy,’ Crete, 8 July 2012. Discussion with Kirsten Warren, David Ulph and workshop participants is gratefully acknowledged. The detailed comments of an anonymous referee have helped greatly in shaping the focus of the final version of the article. The responsibility for any mistakes remains of course ours.


Empirical evidence on resale price maintenance (RPM) is scarce. This article provides novel empirical evidence based on a unique database of RPM complaints, lodged in the UK to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) between 2007 and 2009. We describe the characteristics of the commodity being traded and of the relevant upstream and downstream firms and their sectors. We then present an econometric analysis to assess how the probability of compliance to the OFT request to withdraw the RPM can be affected by the specific features of the relevant economic context in which this restraint has taken place.