European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 317–342 | Cite as

Prohibition of parallel imports as a vertical restraint: per se approach or a misunderstanding?

  • Nikolaos E. Zevgolis
  • Panagiotis N. Fotis


This paper attempts, on the one hand, to reveal the main principles of Competition Law (regulatory and case law framework) covering the prevention of parallel trade, mainly the prohibition of parallel imports, and on the other hand to cast light on the main effects of parallel imports prohibition imposed by an upstream supplier on the competitive structure of the downstream market. Especially, the regulatory framework that relates to Block Exemption Regulation 330/2010, (ex Block Exemption Regulation 2790/99), with Block Exemption Regulation 461/2010 (ex Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002) in order to determine whether prohibition of parallel imports constitutes a hardcore restriction or not, while the economic analysis evaluates it in a geographical vertical market with upstream suppliers and downstream buyers which sell goods to the final (domestic) consumers. Administrative anticompetitive measures are considered as well. The results indicate that the prohibition of parallel imports by upstream firms cause vertical restraints to the domestic customers of the buyers.


Antitrust law Vertical restraints Block Exemption Regulation Case law Market imperfection Repeated games of oligopoly theory 

JEL Classification

D43 K21 L13 L43 L67 



The authors wish to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful and constructive comments. Warm thanks are also expressed to Mrs Danielle Apostolatos. Usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic Competition CommissionAthens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece
  2. 2.Hellenic Competition CommissionUniversity of Central GreecePeristeri, AthensGreece

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