The parties must operate at different levels of the chain only within the meaning of the specific agreement, i.e. the parties can normally be competitors. However, when they act at different levels with respect to the agreement in question (. B for example, a manufacturer that agrees to deliver products made by another producer), it is a vertical agreement. In addition, vertical agreements appear to be more effective in commercial activity. The most common vertical restrictions are: for example, a consumer electronics manufacturer could have a vertical agreement with a retailer, under which the retailer would sell and promote the retailer`s products, possibly in exchange for lower prices. Such agreements could lead to a division of markets and/or the creation and maintenance of territorial restrictions. Similar vertical restrictions may be covered by the section 4 prohibition, unless they fall under a class exemption or individual exemption. 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.
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, under EU competition law, it falls within the scope of Article 101.  Measures that could be covered by these prohibitions with regard to vertical agreements: however, vertical agreements may present competition risks if there is the possibility of providing, for example.B. Barriers to entry are increasing, competition is reduced or mitigated, and other opportunities if horizontal agreements are facilitated.  For the category exemption to be applicable to vertical agreements, each party`s market share must be less than 30% on the market (s) covered by the agreement. If the market share of one or both parties is greater, the class exemption does not apply to vertical agreements and the parties themselves must decide whether the agreement violates the Chapter I or Section 101 prohibitions (depending on the authority).