Horizontal Agreement


Restrictions that go beyond what is necessary to achieve efficiencies achieved through a marketing agreement do not meet the criteria set out in Article 101, paragraph 3. The question of indispensableity is particularly important for price-fixing or market allocation agreements, which can only be considered indispensable in exceptional circumstances. The evaluation of any standardization agreement must take into account its likely effects on the markets concerned, on the one hand, and the extent of restrictions that could go beyond the objective of improving efficiency (127). EU competition law provides for several category exemptions that exclude certain regimes from the Article 101 ban. These category exemptions also apply to agreements that may be covered by the Chapter I ban. Horizontal cooperation agreements can combine different phases of cooperation. B such as research and development (“R and D”) and the production and/or marketing of their results. These agreements are generally covered by these guidelines. When applying these guidelines for the analysis of such integrated cooperation, all chapters relating to the different parts of cooperation are generally relevant. However, if the relevant chapters of these guidelines contain graduated messages. B, for example, with regard to safe ports or if certain behaviours are normally considered to be aimed or effective at restricting competition, the whole cooperation applies to what is set out in the chapter on the part of integrated cooperation, which can be considered its “priority axis” (12). Failure to comply with any or all of the principles set out in this section does not lead to a presumption of restriction of competition within the meaning of section 101, paragraph 1. However, a self-assessment is required to determine whether the agreement falls under Article 101, paragraph 1, and, if so, whether the conditions in Article 101, paragraph 3, are met.

In this regard, it is recognized that there are different models for standardization and that competition within and between these models is a positive aspect of the market economy. As a result, standards bodies are completely free to set rules and procedures that are not contrary to competition rules, while they differ from those described in points 280 to 286. Standardization agreements can affect four possible markets, defined in accordance with the market definition communication. First, the development of standards may have an impact on the market for products or services or on the markets on which the standard or standards relate. Second, where the standard includes the choice of technology and intellectual property rights are marketed separately from the products to which they relate, the standard may have an impact on the market for the technology in question (101). Third, the market can be used to set standards in the event of different organizations or agreements. Fourth, if necessary, a separate market for testing and certification may be affected by standards setting. Air services agreements between Member States and third countries In all cases, it is likely that the conditions of Article 101, paragraph 3, will be met in this case: (i) the agreement will result in quantitative efficiency gains by reducing transport and packaging costs; (ii) competitive conditions in the market are designed so that these cost reductions are likely to be passed on to consumers; (iii) the agreement contains only the minimum limits necessary to achieve packaging standards and is unlikely to result in significant silos; (iv) competition is not eliminated in a substantial part of the products concerned. They are intended to restrict competition within the meaning of Article 101, paragraph 1, paragraph 27.