20 Dec

Vertical Agreement Regulation

companies in which a contracting party, in conjunction with one or more of the companies subject to points (a), b) or (c), or in which two or more of the firms jointly have the rights or powers listed in point a); an agreement between a spare parts manufacturer and a purchaser who installs these parts in its own products must not prevent or restrict the sale of these spare parts to the end consumer, independent repairers or service providers by the manufacturer. 2. When a company purchases, in a multi-party agreement, the contractual goods or services of a company that is a party to the agreement and sells the contract goods or services to another company party to the agreement, the market share of the first company must meet the market share threshold set out in this paragraph, both as a buyer and as a supplier, in order to apply the article 2 exemption. Vertical agreements are widely accepted because they are less likely to solve competition problems than horizontal agreements. Horizontal agreements are concluded between two current or potential competitors. [2] Vertical agreements between competitors are subject to further scrutiny. See Regulation (EC) 330/2010, art.2(4). VaBE applies only if the market share of each of the parties in one of the markets affected by the agreement does not exceed 30%. If the agreement contains an “excluded restriction” (see below), the VABE exemption does not apply to this specific limitation. However, the rest of the agreement may continue to benefit from the VABE, provided that the above conditions are met and that the restriction in question can be removed from the rest of the agreement.

If the restriction is not deductible, the agreement will not fully benefit from the automatic exemption from vaBE. 4. The exemption in paragraph 1 does not apply to vertical agreements between competing companies. However, it applies when competing companies enter into a non-reciprocal vertical agreement and: the questions asked in the questionnaire focus on these five criteria and include whether the VBER and the guidelines have helped to promote good market performance in the EU; a sufficient level of legal certainty to determine whether the conditions set out in the VBER result in derogations from types of vertical agreements that do not generate efficiencies under Article 101, paragraph 3, the TFUE and/or whether vertical restrictions have been included as essential or excluded restrictions, when they can reasonably be expected to generate efficiencies in accordance with Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Treaty. In addition, the questionnaire contains questions about compliance costs and expected effects in the event that the VBER is extended or void. 5. This regulation does not apply to vertical agreements whose purpose falls within the scope of another category exemption regulation, unless otherwise provisions under such a regulation. 2.

The exemption in paragraph 1 applies to vertical agreements between a business association and its members or between such an association and its suppliers only if all its members are retailers of goods and no member of the association has a total annual turnover of more than 50 million euros with its related companies. The vertical agreements concluded by these associations fall within the scope of this regulation, without prejudice to the application of Article 101 of the treaty to horizontal agreements concluded between the members of the association or by the association.