The CPC provides for the possibility of an individual exemption from the general prohibition in the presence of one or more of the following conditions, even if there are concerted acts or a concerted practice:
- Contribution to the improvement of production
- A positive contribution to the distribution of goods or the provision of services
- A contribution to the development of technical and/or economic progress
All of these must be carried out on condition that consumers are given a fair share of the benefits received. Again, negative preconditions are seen here as well, the cumulative absence of which is a mandatory prerequisite. These are: not to impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not necessary to achieve these objectives and not to enable the undertakings concerned to prevent competition in a substantial part of the relevant market.
An important clarification here is that the application of the individual exemption can only take place if the provision is invoked by one of the parties and the prerequisites are proven in their entirety by the party itself. The CPC does not verify the presence of these preconditions ex officio.
Collective exemption from the general prohibition
This type of exemption is carried out by Commission via a separate decision and presupposes that the requirements of the individual exemption are met, but it is also applicable to strictly defined categories of agreements.
Here, the CPC refers to its Ruling No 55/20.01.2011, which exhaustively lists the agreements to which this type of exemption may apply. These are: vertical agreements, agreements in the motor vehicle sector, specialization agreements, research and development agreements, agreements in the insurance sector and technology transfer agreements.
If the subject matter of the agreement differs from the above, the provision does not apply.
The news above is for information purposes only. It is not a (binding) legal advice. For a thorough understanding of the subjects covered and prior acting on any issue discussed we kindly recommend Readers consult Ilieva, Voutcheva & Co. Law Firm attorneys at law.