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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Tying arrangements, sometimes known as “ties,” “tie-ins,” “tied-in sales,” or “bundles,” occur when a firm offers two separate products together, refusing to sell one of them without the other. Identifying when two things are really a single product—such as a shirt and its buttons or an automobile and its tires—has proven controversial. The dominant position looks at ordinary business practices in order to determine whether the products are commonly sold separately. Competitive harm is a threat in a very few situations involving actual market foreclosure or the use of ties to enable dominant firms to retain their market position as one technology rolls into the next. As a result, the so-called per se rule for tying is wrongheaded and ties should be addressed under the rule of reason, with fairly substantial proof requirements on challengers.

Keywords: tying, antitrust, foreclosure, double marginalization, price discrimination, per se rule, rule of reason

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