Restrictive Practices Court
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Restrictive Practices Court (RPC)A union may insist that certain work tasks are undertaken by several employees when arguably a smaller number of workers would be sufficient to perform the tasks (overmanning); efficiency may be impaired by DEMARCATION LINES, laid down by different unions operating in the same plant, which serve to limit job interchangeability See COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
Restrictive Practices Court (RPC)the former regulatory body responsible, in part, for the implementation of UK COMPETITION POLICY covering RESTRICTIVE TRADE AGREEMENTS and RESALE PRICES. The responsibilities of the RPC were taken over by the COMPETITION COMMISSION under the COMPETITION ACT, 1998.
Restrictive Practices Court (RPC)the former regulatory body responsible, in part, for the implementation of UK COMPETITION POLICY. The basic task of the RPC was to investigate and report on cases of
RESTRICTIVE TRADE AGREEMENTS, INFORMATION AGREEMENTS and RESALE PRICE MAINTENANCE referred to it by the OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING (OFT) to determine whether or not they operated against the public interest.
The public interest was broadly equated with the cause of promoting effective competition in the sense that the legislation in this area contained a presumption that competition is generally preferable to COLLUSION. In the case of restrictive agreements and information agreements, all such agreements were presumed to operate against the public interest unless the parties to them could prove otherwise by satisfying one or more of eight ‘gateways’ (that the agreement was beneficial, for example, because it improved efficiency, increased exports or created employment), and only then if the benefits, on balance, outweighed any detriments. Agreements found by the Court to be contrary to the public interest were automatically null and void.
Very few agreements were successfully defended: fewer than 15 in fact. The vast majority of agreements (over 9,000) registered with the OFT were abandoned voluntarily without a formal Court trial. Thus, on the surface, the attack on collusion between suppliers appeared to have been highly successful. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that many agreements had simply been driven underground and were being operated ‘secretly’.