Vertical agreement (Competition Law) [Ro.: acord vertical, De.: vertikale Vereinbarung, Fr.: accord vertical, It.: accordo verticale] (See also: horizontal agreement, anti-competitive behaviour, concerted practice, cartel, relevant market, undertaking, internal market) = An agreement or a concerted practice set between two or more undertakings, each one operating, for the scope of the agreement, at different levels of the production or distribution chain, and relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain goods or services. Unlike horizontal agreements, vertical agreements are viewed in a more relaxed manner by competition law, especially considering the fact that they create fewer competition problems than the former ones.

Agreement (Competition Law) [Ro.: acord, De.: Vereinbarung, Fr.: accord, It.: accordo] = An agreement refers to an explicit or implicit arrangement set between firms that are normally in competition with each other to their mutual benefit. Such agreements that restrict competition may concern prices, production, markets and/or customers. These types of agreements are often associated with the formation of cartels or collusion and hence are treated as violations of competition legislation due to their effect of increasing prices, restricting output and many other adverse economic consequences.


Useful Links

Legislation - The Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Article 101 [All official EU languages] – Council Regulation (EC) no. 1/2003 on the implementation of the rules on the competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty [English] – Commission Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 of 20 April 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices [All official EU languages] – Law 21/1996, Romania [Romanian]

Case Law – ECJ, Case C-56/65, Société Technique Minière v. Maschinenbau Ulm GmbH, 1966. – ECJ, Joined Cases C-56 and 58/64, Etablissements Consten SA & Grundig-Verkaufs-GmbH v. Commission, 1966. – ECJ, Case C-26/76, Metro-SB-Grossmärkte GmbH v. Commission, 1977. – ECJ, Case C-258/78, L.C. Nungesser KG and Kurt Eisele v. Commission, 1982. – ECJ, Case C-27/87, SPRL Louis Erauw-Jacquery v. La Hesbignonne, 1983. – ECJ, Case C-309/99, Wouters v. Algemene Raad van de Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten, 2002. – ECJ, Case C- 519/04 P, David Meca-Medina and Igor Majcen v. Commission, 2006. – ECJ, Case C-209/07, Competition Authority v. Beef Industry Development Society Ltd and Barry Brothers (Carrigmore) Meats Ltd., 2008. – ECJ, Joined Cases C-501, 513, 515 & 519/06, GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited v. Commission, 2009. – ECJ, Case C-439/09, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS v. Président de l'Autorité de la Concurrence and Others,  2011.

Organisations and associations – European Commission – Directorate-General for Competition [European Union] – In House Competition Lawyers’ Association – International League of Competition Law (LIDC) – International Competition Network (ICN) – Academic Society for Competition Law (ASCOLA) – European Competition Network (ECN) – Austrian Competition Authority [Austria] – Belgian Competition Authority [Belgium] – British Competition Authority [United Kingdom] – Danish Competition Authority [Denmark] – Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority [Finland] – French Competition Authority [France] – German Competition Authority [Germany] – Hellenic Competition Authority [Greece] – Italian Competition Authority [Italy] – Hungarian Competition Authority [Hungary] – Competition Authority of Luxembourg [Luxembourg] – Dutch Competition Authority [Netherlands] – Polish Competition Authority [Poland] – Portuguese Competition Authority [Portugal] – Romanian Competition Authority [Romania] – Spanish Competition Authority [Spain] – Swedish Competition Authority [Sweden] – American Antitrust Division from the Department of Justice [United States of America] – American Antitrust Institute [United States of America]

Online Publications – de la Mano, M.; Jones, A., 2017, Vertical Agreements Under EU Competition Law: Proposals for Pushing Article 101 Analysis, and the Modernization Process, to a Logical Conclusion, United Kingdom: London, King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2017-23 [English]. –Hovenkamp, H., 2010, Leegin, the Rule of Reason, and Vertical Agreement, United States: Iowa, U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-40 [English]. – Kaplow, L., 2016, The Meaning of Vertical Agreement and the Structure of Competition Law, United States: Cambridge (Massachusetts), Antitrust Law Journal 5/2016, Discussion Paper No. 860 [English]. – Petit, N.; Henry, D., 2010, Vertical Restraints under EU Competition Law: Conceptual Foundations and Practical Framework [English].


Bellamy and Child, 2008, European Community Law of Competition, United Kingdom/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 6th edition [English].

De Smet, D., 2008, The diametrically opposed principles of US and EU antitrust policy, United Kingdom: European Competition Law Review, No. 29 [English].

Hildebrand, D., 2005, Economic Analyses of Vertical Agreements: A Self-assessment, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International [English].

Jones, A.; Sufrin, B., 2016, EU Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials, United Kingdom/Oxford: Oxford University Press [English].

Lorenz, M., 2013, An Introduction to EU Competition Law, United Kingdom/Cambridge: Cambdrige University press [English].

Monti, G., 2007, EC Competition Law, United Kingdom/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [English].

Sauter, W., 2016, Coherence in EU Competition Law, United Kingdom/Oxford: Oxford University Press [English].

Whish, R.; Bailey, D., 2012, Competition Law, United Kingdom/Oxford: Oxford University Press [English].

Wijckmans, F.; Tuytschaever, F., 2011, Vertical Agreements in EU Competition Law, United Kingdom/Oxford: Oxford University Press [English].

by Vladimir Griga