Vertical agreements restricting competition by object from the view of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic

15.04.2015
The Office issues the document on vertical agreements with the aim to minimize the legal uncertainty of an undertaking in the area of vertical agreements and thus increase the predictability of the Office´s assessment of such cases. The document should outline the Office´s perception of particular forms of vertical agreements, it should specify what constitutes a problem and what is not considered a serious infringement of competition.

Document elaborates on vertical agreements that have as their object restriction of competition, it means agreements that directly or indirectly, in isolation or in combination with other factors under the control of the parties that have as their object elimination, restriction or distortion of competition. Such vertical agreements are not subject to exemptions from the Block Exemption Regulations. In detail it deals vertical agreements restricting competition by object that are listed in General Block Exemption Regulation as both the European Commission and the Office consider these agreements as serious restriction of competition. It relates to these types of agreements:
  • agreements on resale price maintenance;
  • agreements on restriction of territories or customers;
  • agreements on the restriction of sales to end users by members of a selective distribution system operating at the retail level of trade;
  • agreements on the restriction of cross-supplies between distributors within a selective distribution system;
  • agreements on the restriction of the supplier’s ability to sell the components as spare parts to end-users or to repairers.
Vertical restrictions represent the greater threat to competition, the greater the market share the companies applying such restrictions in relation to other companies have. Companies with significant market power may cause serious restriction of competition by enforcing vertical restrictions, mainly by restriction of competition between distributors of their products, representing so-called restriction of competition within one brand.

In this document the Office clarifies its attitude towards target vertical agreements restricting competition by object and specifies circumstances in which the enforcement of vertical agreements may cause serious restriction of competition.
Last update:27.04.2015