Given the serious consequences of non-compliance, undertakings should regularly check whether the undertaking`s practices and agreements are compatible with competition law. For every company, and especially for every company that has a significant share of the markets in which it operates, it is essential to encourage employees to understand what kind of behaviour is and is not allowed by competition law. One of the legitimate business reasons why a company may tailor its prices to a competitor is the response to clearly visible prices displayed by competitors (e.g. B gasoline price panels) or competitors who quickly adjust their prices to price movements (known as “parallel pricing”). A third argument against the prohibition of horizontal price cartels concerns the social desire to cross-subsidize services to the poor. Doctors, lawyers and institutional health care providers have often argued that a reduction in price competition between them can provide the cushion needed to provide the necessary services at a reduced price or at no cost to poorer consumers. (Another, perhaps more intuitive, way of saying this is that vigorous price competition reduces profit margins and reduced margins lead to reductions in charitable care and pro-bono work.) price-fixing agreements need not be formal; You can be a “wink and nod” made during a drink in the local pub, at an association meeting or on a social occasion. What is important is not how the agreement or agreement was concluded, nor how effective it is, but that competitors develop their prices collectively and not individually. Restrictions of competition contained in a vertical agreement may be exempted if they fall under the criteria of the Vertical Agreement Block Exemption (VABE) (which provides for a flat-rate exemption for agreements meeting certain criteria) or if they meet the individual (or, where applicable, equivalent of the United Kingdom) exemption criteria referred to in Article 101, paragraph 3. Overall, the exemption under the VABE depends on the fact that the parties` market shares do not exceed 30%, with none of the parties being considered to be “competitors” of the other parties and that there are no clauses on the “black list”, such as.B. The maintenance of resale prices, the sharing of the market or certain forms of export ban.
In the case of a vertical agreement, it is not possible to benefit from an exemption under the VABE (e.g.B. given that the relevant market share thresholds are exceeded), it is necessary to carry out a thorough analysis in order to determine whether the individual exemption criteria are met. It is illegal to try to define the outcome of a tendering or tendering procedure inviting companies to tender for a proposed contract. . . .