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July 16, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

The section of the Treaty of Rome on Competition Policy has the unfortunate effect of appearing to make franchise agreements anti-competitive and therefore illegal under the rules of the European Economic Community. The problem was discovered when the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled last year that one franchise agreement was illegal under EEC competition rules. The EEC Commission has therefore had to move to exempt all franchise agreements within the community from competition rules. But these things take time to work their way through the Brussels bureaucracy, and until the block exemption comes into force, the Commission has to grant individual waivers to each franchisor on a case by case basis. ComputerLand Europe SA, headquartered in Luxembourg has now been granted a waiver for its 100 or so European outlets, exemption being granted on the grounds that the system benefits consumers by providing them with better service than could independent stores.

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