Horizontal Agreements Cases

EU jurisprudence defines horizontally e.V. as “cooperation between two or more real or potential competitors” and vertically as “cooperation between companies operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain. [2] At this stage of the analysis, the American and European courts define horizontal and vertical cooperation very similarly. In the United States, horizontal cooperation is generally defined as a restriction imposed by agreements between competitors and vertical restrictions imposed by enterprise-to-company agreements at different levels of a distribution chain. [3] A non-binding agreement between direct competitors may, depending on the time of reflection, be reduced to a restrictive horizontal agreement. The ECJ makes less of a distinction between horizontal and vertical cooperation than that of the United States. This is probably because the ECJ is influenced by strong principles of market integration. An analysis by our economists has been carried out in cases of cartels and abuses of dominant position in the EC and national cartels, as well as in other cases of horizontal agreements, such as collaborative joint ventures and the collective sale of sports rights. For this reason, the U.S. sc distinguishes a greater distinction from the ECJ`s distinction in horizontal and vertical cooperation when horizontal agreements are more easily condemned, since illegal and vertical agreement is generally subject to the rule of common sense. (1) By Se Violation – does not require further study of the actual impact of the practice on the market or the intentions of those involved in this practice (i.e. horizontal agreements for market sharing or customer sharing).

The table below shows a specific text in the opinions of European jurisprudence and the GA on the differences between the horizontal and vertical agreement. Some of the most common horizontal cooperation agreements on the market include information exchange, joint procurement agreements and research and development agreements. [4] On the other hand, some of the most common vertical cooperations include restrictions on distribution, franchising and resale prices. [5] The following analysis is based on 14 European competition law cases in terms of concerted practices. In most cases, this is horizontal cooperation as opposed to vertical cooperation. The main and most frequent types of anti-competitive horizontal agreements are price fixing, supply manipulation, market allocation/distribution and refusal of transactions (group boycott). These horizontal agreements generally have the form of an agreement, which is explained in a separate subcategory. One way to distinguish between horizontal and vertical cooperation between the ECJ is to examine the case law. Thus, in Consten and Grundig[6], the ECJ did not follow the advice of the Advocate General (GA) and found that horizontal and vertical restrictions are contained in Article 101, paragraph 1. In particular, the GA argued that Article 101 of the EUTF did not apply to vertical agreements between one producer and its distributor, as they are not competitors to the other. However, the ECJ did not agree with the GA, on the grounds that the wording of Article 101 does not distinguish between horizontal and vertical agreements.

Instead, the Tribunal found that the section applies to all agreements that could distort competition in the common market. In addition, it should be noted that the ECJ generally follows the ag`s advice and that the ECJ takes a different approach from that of the GA, as shown in the court`s firm decision, that the language of the contract does not suggest a distinction between horizontal and vertical agreements. Horizontal agreements for the exchange of competitively sensitive information may, depending on the circumstances, be considered horizontal anti-competitive agreements and fall under Article 4 of the Competition Act.