초록 close

최근 미국에서 3M이 묶음 리베이트를 이용하여 저가브랜드제품의 확대를 막고 자신의 지배력을 유지하고자 했다는 판결이 내려진 이후 지배적 기업 의 로열티 리베이트(loyalty rebates) 제공의 경쟁제한성 여부에 대한 논쟁이 활발하다. 리베이트 제공은 일반적으로 낮은 가격을 의미하고 경쟁 과정에서 나타날 수 있는 가격정책이므로 지배적 기업이라는 이유로 리베 이트 제공을 위법화하는 것은 경쟁과정이 제약을 받고 소비자 후생이 감소 되는 효과가 발생할 수 있다는 우려가 제기되고 있다. 특히 3M의 판결에 서 경쟁제한성 기준을 제대로 제시하지 못해 지배적 기업이 행하는 정상적 인 경쟁 행위와 경쟁제한적인 행위를 구분하기 어렵게 되어 그 결과 활발 한 경쟁을 저해하여 경쟁법이 지향하는 경쟁촉진과 상반되는 결과를 초래 할 수 있다는 비판을 받고 있다. 뿐만 아니라 로열티 리베이트에 대한 경 제이론이 충분하게 정립되어 있지 못해 이러한 경쟁제한성 논란을 더욱 가중시키고 있다. 따라서 로열티 리베이트에 대한 더욱 활발한 법적, 경제 적 연구가 필요하다.


Since it is ruled that 3M has violated Sherman Act by offering bundling rebates, it has caused many debates on how to assess the effects of the bundling rebates on competition and how to distinguish legitimate competition practices from exclusionary practices. Rebates are commonly used as competition practices and benefit consumers by lowering price. Even though competition policy has purported to maximize consumer welfare by advocating competition, prohibiting rebates could end up protecting inefficient competitors instead of competition by chilling aggressive price competition. It is, therefore, very important to assess the pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects of loyalty rebates based on facts and data available in each case. It requires rich and strong economic theoretical studies on the economic effects of loyalty rebates (including bundling rebates), but existing economic literature on loyalty rebates is not enough yet. More researches on loyalty rebates should be done and economic theory could provide strong foundation for implementing competition policy on the abuse of dominant firm such as loyalty rebates in the future.


Since it is ruled that 3M has violated Sherman Act by offering bundling rebates, it has caused many debates on how to assess the effects of the bundling rebates on competition and how to distinguish legitimate competition practices from exclusionary practices. Rebates are commonly used as competition practices and benefit consumers by lowering price. Even though competition policy has purported to maximize consumer welfare by advocating competition, prohibiting rebates could end up protecting inefficient competitors instead of competition by chilling aggressive price competition. It is, therefore, very important to assess the pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects of loyalty rebates based on facts and data available in each case. It requires rich and strong economic theoretical studies on the economic effects of loyalty rebates (including bundling rebates), but existing economic literature on loyalty rebates is not enough yet. More researches on loyalty rebates should be done and economic theory could provide strong foundation for implementing competition policy on the abuse of dominant firm such as loyalty rebates in the future.