آخر تحديث - 27 سبتمبر 2021
There is a specific separation of the rules on vertical restraints (as well as other types of anti-competitive agreements) with regard to agreements involving the transfer of means of legal protection or “means of individualising” legal persons, goods or services such as company names and brand names. However, this exception should not be interpreted too broadly and used to avoid the application of the prohibitions on vertical restraints in cases where the transfer of intellectual property and similar rights is not a physical subject matter, but is only a subsidiary element thereof. In addition, there is a special refuge for franchise agreements: such agreements are not subject to the prohibition of vertical restraints (see question 15). No, there are no specific rules, rules or practices on vertical restraints in online sales. However, it is important to note that in 2015, the SAA analysed “platform bans” in cases of abuse of a dominant position in the market. In the case of Google in particular, the SAF concluded that Google had infringed competition law by limiting the applications and services that manufacturers could pre-install on Google-based smartphones and tablets on Android. Google Play was considered a dominant product in the app store market and the abuse of a dominant position was found in Google`s practice to pool (i) the pre-installation of Google Play (i.e. a dominant product) with the pre-installation of other Google mobile applications and services such as Google Search; and (ii) prohibit the pre-installation of mobile apps and services that compete with Google`s. Both practices are automatically exempted for vertical agreements covered by the block exemption. 2.15 Have the supervisory authorities adopted formal directives on vertical agreements? To determine whether the supplier complies with the 30% market share limit under the block exemption (see below), the market in which the supplier sells the contract products serves as a reference point. With regard to the reseller/buyer, it is necessary to consider the purchasing market, i.e. the market on which he buys the contract products. The guidelines for the definition of the relevant markets are set out in point 86 and the vertical guidelines are set out below.
Reference can also be made to the Commission`s 1997 Communication on the definition of the relevant market. The term `vertical agreement` is not limited to agreements, but also includes concerted practices (Regulation (EC) No 330/2010, Article 1(1)(a)). Price discrimination may be automatically exempted for vertical agreements covered by the block exemption. However, some measures to protect against price discrimination practices (e.g. B blocking cross-border sales, customer restrictions or vertical price cartels) may be key restrictions. Abuses have been defined later in the case-law as conduct by a dominant undertaking which, by using methods other than those which condition normal competition, impedes the maintenance of competition which still exists on the market. . . .