In the section on the calculation of the market share threshold (paragraphs 89 to 95), the Commission now clarifies that agreements concluded between an association of retailers and its individual members are the supplier`s association and that account should be taken of the common market share of its members. Jennifer Marsh is a partner in the firm`s London office. She focuses her practices on all aspects of EU and UK competition law and trade agreements. Vertical agreements are agreements between companies operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain, for example. B an agreement between a producer and a distributor. Under existing EU law, companies must themselves assess the compliance of their vertical agreements with EU competition law, which prohibits agreements restricting competition in accordance with Article 101(1) TF. The VDC exempts certain types of agreements from the prohibition in Article 101(1) if certain conditions are met, thus giving companies the certainty that their agreement complies with EU competition law. For example, RPM is an area that is certainly not new to controversy. The evaluation confirms that opinions on RPM remain deeply divided. On the one hand, a number of stakeholders and even some PCAs have questioned the appropriateness of giving rpm a presumption of illegality, given its beneficial effects in certain situations.
This view is supported by the valuation study which, for a reference market (pounds), modelled prices in several EU Member States between 1996 and 2018 and concluded that fixed book prices resulted in “higher output and slightly lower prices”. It therefore appears that consumer welfare was higher when these agreements were concluded with the MPR. On the other hand, the Commission notes that results in the book sector cannot be transferred directly to other sectors. In addition, a number of national competition authorities continue to consider RPM to be a serious infringement of anti-cartel rules, which would explain why, of the 391 vertical cases handled by PCAs over the last ten years, up to 210 RPMs (more than half). The question of risk must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and taking into account the economic reality of the situation and not the legal form. With regard to vertical agreements which have already been concluded before 1, the Guidelines specify that if these agreements meet the conditions laid down in existing Regulations 1983/83 (on exclusive distribution), 1984/83 (on ing) or 4087/88 (on franchising) and that the supplier`s market share does not exceed 30 %. Agreements that contain competition bans of more than five years are covered by the block exemption when on 1 January 2002 (i.e. . .