Vertical Agreements De Minimis

Vertical Agreements De Minimis

It provides a safe haven for agreements between companies which, in the Commission`s view, do not have a significant impact on competition. In the 18 years from 1 January 2001 to 1 January 2019, the Commission opened some 25 infringement proceedings for vertical restrictions under Article 101. This applies only to cases where the Commission: the vertical class exemption requires that the agreement in question be vertical (i.e. the parties operate at different market levels “for the purposes of the agreement”). Parties to an agreement that compete in other product markets, but not in the contract market, may benefit from the vertical class exemption, provided they are not both “real and potential competitors” in the market that includes contract products. Have decisions or guidelines on vertical restrictions been made in any way in the treatment of different types of online sales channels? In particular, have there been developments with respect to “platform bans”? Under what circumstances do the vertical restriction rules apply to agreements between a parent company and a related company (or between affiliates of the same parent company)? With the same effect as price fixing, agreements that establish the maximum discount or subordinate the granting of discounts or reimbursement of advertising costs to certain price levels apply. The setting of maximum or recommended resale prices, to which the distributor can deviate without penalty, may be permitted (provided that these are not limited to fixed or minimum selling prices due to pressure or offer of incentives by the seller). However, the Commission may be wary of these agreements in concentrated markets, as it believes that such practices can facilitate cartels between suppliers. Does the assessment of vertical restrictions apply to certain industrial sectors (motor vehicles, insurance, etc.)? Please indicate the rules and the areas that cover them. Nor can the agreements be covered by Article 101, paragraph 1, of the Treaty, because they cannot significantly affect trade between Member States. This communication does not indicate what a significant effect is on trade between Member States. Guidelines in this regard are found in the Commission`s communication on effects on trade (4), in which the Commission quantifies, using a combination of a market share threshold of 5% and a turnover threshold of EUR 40 million, which the agreements are not in principle able to significantly affect trade between Member States (5).


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