When do vertical restraints harm competition? the economics-based approach and its application in the batsa case
An "effects-based" or "economics-based" approach to competition policy requires a theory of harm that causally links a business practice and its allegedly anti-competitive effects and also weighs anti competitive effects against the pro-competitive effects of the practice. This implies a shift away from per se prohibitions of certain practices towards case-by-case analysis - a move that has been hotly debated, especially in Europe. Using a case study of the recently concluded British American Tobacco case, we study the core features of an effects-based approach to vertical restraints. We find the approach followed in the British American Tobacco South Africa case generally consistent with an effects-based analysis, but highlight some limitations. © 2011 Economic Society of South Africa.