Common Market: A Blow for Freer Competition

While Common Market planners pursue their goal of free trade, businessmen of the six member nations have continued an older tradition: that of boundary-crossing deals through which manufacturers, in order to sandbag their competition, award exclusive sales rights to retail distributors. Now, in a long-awaited decision involving one such arrangement between Grundig, a West German electronics giant, and Consten, a French retail distributor, the Common Market has moved to topple the restraint-of-trade tradition.

Under a 1957 agreement, Grundig gave Consten exclusive rights to sell its TV sets, tape recorders and other products...