Antitrust and Self-Preferencing

ORCID>Herbert Hovenkamp 0000-0002-4583-5162

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“Self-preferencing” refers to situations in which a firm favors, or “preferences” its own products over those of rivals. Of course, it would literally be “self preferencing” for a producer to sell nothing but its own products. That type of self-preferencing has not provoked much concern outside of the highly limited law of refusal to deal, although it may violate some proposed legislation. More generally, harmful self-preferencing occurs when a firm sells multiple brands and gives its own brand favorable treatment, when it tries to steer customers of some primary product to its own secondary product, or when it excludes or discriminates among various products. Concerns about self-preferencing also embrace practices that make it more difficult for the user of a product or independent third parties to repair it.


self-preferencing, patents, antitrust, tying, exclusive dealing, refusal to deal, right to repair

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Antitrust Magazine