Article 101, paragraph 1 of the TFUE prohibits agreements between companies with the purpose or effect of restricting, preventing or distorting competition within the Union and affecting trade between EU Member States. This prohibition is relevant to all agreements between two or more companies, whether they are competitors. Fourth, is the agreement subject to the vertical class exemption? (See question 18) If the agreement is within the scope of the vertical category exemption, it has a safe port and is therefore not considered a violation of Article 101. This refuge applies to decisions taken not only by the Commission, but also by competition authorities and the courts of the Member States in the context of the application of Article 101. Under what circumstances do the cartel and abuse of dominance rules apply to agreements between agents and key agreements in which a company agrees to provide certain services on behalf of a supplier in exchange for a commission payment on the basis of sale? Yes, yes. The Commission`s vertical guidelines state that “the negative effects of vertical restrictions are reinforced when multiple suppliers and their customers organize their exchanges in a similar manner, resulting in so-called cumulative effects.” However, the Court of Justice`s GlaxoSmithKline decision also points out that the Commission is required to properly consider the arguments and evidence that a party presents in the context of the assessment of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the agreement that the agreement should be exempt from the prohibition of Article 101, paragraph 1. Under Article 101, paragraph 2, competition restrictions that violate Article 101, paragraph 1, and which cannot be exempted under Article 101, paragraph 3, are overturned. The exact consequences of a finding of nullity depend on the wording of the agreement itself and the provisions of applicable national law on the separation of contracts. There are two main alternatives: either the entire agreement is null and void, or the prohibited restriction can be dissociated from the rest of the agreement, and the prohibited restriction alone is not applicable and unenforceable. It is not clear that a retail clause of the MFN, such as the one described above, would in itself constitute a restriction of competition under section 101, paragraph 1.

However, the agreements that were the subject of the Commission`s recent e-book investigation included an MFN retail price, in which publishers agreed to align the prices of titles sold through Apple`s iBookstore with those of the same titles when sold on other online platforms. Although the Commission`s investigation focused more on alleged agreements between the publishers and Apple, the commitments the Commission accepted at the conclusion of the case included the obligation to remove the retail MFN for a period of five years. This aspect of the result of the e-book case suggests that the Commission considered that, for customers, MFNs, as well as other restrictions related to consumer prices, could be likely to restrict competition. In section 1.1, point a), of the vertical class exemption, a vertical agreement is defined as: Is there a category exemption or a safe port that allows companies to guarantee the legality of vertical restrictions under certain conditions? If so, please explain how this category or safe port exemption works.