Bundling refers to the way in which products are offered and their prices set by the merged entity. In its Guidelines on the assessment of non-horizontal mergers (2008/C 265/07), the Commission distinguishes between pure bundling and mixed bundling.

In the case of pure bundling the products are only sold jointly in fixed proportions. The ability to make such sales means that the products are purchased simultaneously or by the same customers.

With mixed bundling the products are also available separately, but the sum of the stand-alone prices is higher than the bundled price. Rebates, when made dependent on the purchase of other goods, may be considered a form of mixed bundling.

Bundling can only have the effect of foreclosing the market when at least one of the merging parties’ products is considered by many customers to be particularly important and there are few acceptable alternatives due, for example, to product differentiation or the capacity constraints of competitors. In addition, market foreclosure must relate to a large common customer base for each product in question: the more customers tend to buy both products instead of just one, the more likely it is that demand for the individual products will be affected by bundling. This is particularly the case when the products in question are complementary.