It can be assumed that vertical agreements that do not contain certain types of serious restrictions on competition generally result in improved production or distribution and allow consumers to take a fair share of the benefits that result from them if the market share of each of the parties to the agreement does not exceed 30%. Another regulation on purchase agreements relating to products resulting from the combination of parts is included in Article 4, paragraph e, paragraph 1, of the communiqué. The delivery agreement between the supplier that markets these parts and the purchaser who uses these parts in production should not prevent the supplier from selling these parts to the end consumer or repairers who are not authorized by the buyer to maintain or repair the goods. Vertical agreements between companies that oppose cannot benefit from exemptions. In any event, since the agreements signed between two companies are considered horizontal, they do not fall within the scope of the press release. The methods of distribution of clients in the region or the modes of distribution of clients under the four headings (b) of Article 4, paragraph 1, of the press release are not considered to be restrictions that exclude exemption agreements by category. Certain types of vertical agreements can improve economic efficiency within a production or distribution chain by facilitating better coordination between the parties. In particular, they can lead to a reduction in the costs of transaction and distribution of the parties and to the optimization of their level of turnover and investment. The benefit of the category exemption instituted by this Regulation should be limited to vertical agreements that can be considered with sufficient certainty that they meet the conditions of Article 101, paragraph 3 of the Treaty.
The likelihood that such efficiency-enhancing effects will predominate of anti-competitive effects due to restrictions in vertical agreements depends on the degree of market power of the parties to the agreement and, therefore, on the extent to which these firms are exposed to competition from other suppliers of goods or services considered by their customers to be interchangeable or substitutable. Restrictions that remove the benefit of the category exemption – the characterized restrictions, taking into account Regulation 19/65/EEC of the Council, of 2 March 1965, concerning the application of Article 85, paragraph 3, of the EC Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices (1), including Article 1, 1.