Article 101, paragraph 1 of the TFUE prohibits agreements between companies with the purpose or effect of restricting, preventing or distorting competition within the Union and affecting trade between EU Member States. This prohibition is relevant to all agreements between two or more companies, whether they are competitors. Contracting parties may include restrictions or contractual obligations in vertical agreements to protect an investment or simply to ensure day-to-day activity (for example. B, sales, supply or purchase agreements). Regulation (EC) No. 330/2010  exempts vertical agreements from the prohibition in Article 101, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which meet the requirements for the exemption and do not contain so-called « strict » restrictions on competition. The main exception concerns vehicle distribution agreements which, until 31 May 2013, are subject to a three-year extension of the Council`s Regulation (EC) (EC) No. 461/2010 (Regulation (EC) No. 1400/2002 .  Although the latter regulation applies Regulation 330/2010 to auto repair and spare parts agreements as of June 1, 2013, it also complements Regulation 330 with three additional « hardcore » clauses Vertical agreements are widely accepted, as they would dispel fewer competition problems than horizontal agreements. Horizontal agreements are concluded between two current or potential competitors. However, vertical agreements may present competitive risks if .B potential to increase barriers to entry, reduce or mitigate competition, and avoid other opportunities in the event of horizontal agreements.  Compared to other vertical agreements, there is more flexibility.
For example, the following types of agreements are not considered « pure » under the category exemption (they are called « non-hardcore »): some vertical agreements may have restrictions that do not comply with Article 101 of the TFUE. These are agreements that contain provisions: if it is confirmed that the contracting parties are acting at different commercial levels within the meaning of an agreement and that the agreement has an « impact on trade », the procedure for assessing the vertical agreement under Article 101 of the EUSF is, overall, there are cases where certain types of agreements do not automatically fall within the scope of Article 101 of the TFUE, for example. B: A vertical agreement is a term used in competition law to refer to agreements between companies at different levels of the supply chain. For example, a consumer electronics manufacturer could have a vertical agreement with a retailer to promote its products in exchange for lower prices. Franchising is a form of vertical agreement and, according to EU competition law, it falls within the scope of Article 101 Whether a vertical agreement actually restricts competition and whether, in this case, the benefits outweigh the anti-competitive effects, often depends on the structure of the market.