The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs commissioned Oxera to undertake research to support the assessment of the impact of a ‘minimum price rule’. The Dutch Parliament debated the desirability of a price rule that would forbid retailers from selling goods at a price lower than that which they pay to their suppliers. This debate on the minimum price rule had principally arisen as a response to a price war between supermarkets in the Netherlands that began at the end of 2003. The price war resulted in lower prices and therefore benefited consumers, However, the concern was that in the medium or long term, the price war may harm consumers by forcing smaller supermarkets and more specialised retailers to exit the market, thus reducing the number of players, the variety of products and availability of supermarkets close to where people live. The analysis undertaken by Oxera focused on quantifying some of the costs of a minimum price rule. A statistical analysis of prices in countries that have a minimum price rule (Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, and Ireland) was undertaken. The analysis showed that the minimum price rule in France and Ireland may have had an upward effect on prices. Based on Oxera's study and other evidence, on July 1st, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs decided not to introduce a minimum price rule.