correct null epoch value behavior for Conflicts: expressions ?

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Good day RPM list -

I'd be most grateful if someone could please explain correct interpretation
of NULL %{EPOCH} values in the context of Conflicts / Obsoletes specifications.

In RHEL 6 ,  for instance,  the udev.spec contains:

    Conflicts: kernel < 0:2.6

Yet the RHEL 6 kernel spec (from  2.6.32-431.20.5 ) does NOT specify any epoch ,
 so will have %{EPOCH} == '(none)'  ,   and the result of udev's Conflicts
 expression should be TRUE ; ie. udev would replace kernel .
 Isn't a NULL value meant to compare less than a numeric value,
 even if the numeric value is 0 ?
What prevents udev from replacing the kernel / preventing it being installed,
then ?
Does an epoch value of '0' always equate to a value of '(none)' ?
Yet I do think RPM / YUM will consider an RPM will Epoch '0' to be greater than
one with  Epoch '(none)'.
 Can someone please explain why this evidently doesn't apply to this
 RHEL 6 udev Conflicts:  kernel < 0:2.6 with kernel (none):2.6.x being
installed  ?

Thanks & Regards,
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