The European Commission has published guidelines on vertical restrictions to determine when an agreement should be exempt from the bans in Chapter I or Article 101. In general, vertical restrictions are less anti-competitive than horizontal restrictions. There are cases where certain types of agreements do not automatically fall within the scope of Article 101 of the TFUE, for example. B: The current category exemption for vertical agreements expires at the end of May 2022 and is currently under review. The parties must operate at different levels of the chain only within the meaning of the specific agreement, i.e. the parties can normally be competitors. However, when they act at different levels with respect to the agreement in question (. B for example, a manufacturer that agrees to deliver products made by another producer), it is a vertical agreement. The UK Competition Authority, the Competition Authority for Markets, has the power to withdraw the category exemption for vertical agreements for specific agreements. Although it is unlikely to exercise this right. The European Commission also has the power to remove the category exemption for vertical agreements in certain situations. Horizontal agreements are agreements between two or more parties operating at the same level of the production, supply and distribution chain, .
B between two suppliers or two retailers. Joint sales agreements, joint sales agreements, specialization agreements, and R and D concluded between competing companies are examples of this. The category exemption for EU vertical agreements exempts certain vertical agreements from the prohibitions covered by Chapter I or Article 101. While the category exemption applies to vertical agreements for the agreement in question, there is no need for further consideration of the agreement from a competition perspective. However, if the class exemption is not applicable, the Chapter I or Section 101 agreement needs further review to determine whether the agreement raises anti-competitive concerns. For the category exemption to be applicable to vertical agreements, each party`s market share must be less than 30% on the (s) market in question (s) on which the agreement has fallen. If the market share of one or both parties is greater, the class exemption does not apply to vertical agreements and the parties themselves must decide whether the agreement violates the Chapter I or Section 101 prohibitions (depending on the authority). Vertical agreements are therefore considered by competition authorities to be less likely to lead to anti-competitive practices.