The European Antitrust Review 2012

Vertical Agreements

The EU antitrust regime not only applies to anti-competitive horizontal agreements, decisions or concerted practices and the abuse of dominant positions, it also covers vertical agreements or concerted practices. Whereas horizontal practices are entered into between undertakings operating on the same level of the production chain, vertical agreements are entered into between independent firms operating on different levels of the production chain (ie, non-competitors). Typical examples of vertical agreements are contracts between manufacturers and distributors or retailers. The respective business relationships may pertain to the purchase, sale or resale of goods or services and also to licence agreements such as the licensing of technology or trademarks.