The most important thing to keep in mind when entering into vertical agreements is that they could still be considered illegal in themselves if they were used to facilitate a horizontal pricing agreement. That`s what happened in the case of Apple. Regulation (EC) No. 330/2010  exempts vertical agreements from the prohibition in Article 101, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which meet the requirements for the exemption and do not contain so-called “strict” restrictions on competition. The main exception concerns vehicle distribution agreements which, until 31 May 2013, are subject to a three-year extension of the Council`s Regulation (EC) (EC) No. 461/2010 (Regulation (EC) No. 1400/2002 .  Although the latter regulation is Regulation (EC) 330/2010 relating to agreements relating to the repair of motor vehicles and the distribution of spare parts from the 1st It also complements Regulation 330 with three “hardcore” clauses Additional An important precaution at the forefront of the legality of resale price maintenance contracts is that many states continue to consider them illegal under their national legislation, even though they are no longer in themselves breaches of federal agreement law. For example, although it has not been definitively dealt with since Leegin, it appears that these agreements in the California Cartel and Abuse of Position Act, the Cartwright Act, are in themselves still contrary to illegality. If you are considering such an agreement in California or elsewhere, contact a cartel lawyer. When can a company`s agreements with suppliers or customers create problems? In this episode of the Winston-Strawn competition podcast, cartel partners Molly Donovan and Susannah Torpey discuss vertical restrictions to help companies better understand where agreements or agreements at different levels of production, distribution or supply can raise cartel issues. A producer or reseller considering a resale price maintenance contract should consult with a lawyer to determine whether the agreement can be reviewed for cartels and abuse of dominance. For example, courts (and antitrust authorities) may review these agreements more than usual if (1) several producers decide to maintain the resale price; (2) when retailers have kicked off vertical pricing; and (3) where one or more contracting parties have market power.
Susannah Torpey: The DOJ recently turned to resale sales contracts in the film industry. Last year, the DOJ announced that it had launched a review of Paramount`s approval orders, which have been in effect for decades. Paramount, the film studio, is one of the oldest in Hollywood. In the 1930s, the government began investigating possible cartel violations in the film industry, and the DOJ eventually sued five major film studios, including Paramount. The government case was settled in 1940 by approval decrees known as paramount approval decrees. Susannah Torpey: No one comes to mind in the United States, but a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, ASUS, was recently fined in the EU for setting resale prices in line with three other companies in Japan and the Netherlands. These companies manufacture consumer electronics such as kitchen utensils, electric toothbrushes, laptops and screens, and sell their products through online distributors.