Immaterialgüter- und Wettbewerbsrecht

Assessment of Per se Unlawful Vertical Agreements under Competition Law

The project aims to re-evaluate the approach undertaken by the European Commission as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union towards the vertical agreements having as their object the restriction of competition (i.e. resale price maintenance and absolute territorial protection).

Last Update: 10.01.14

During the last decade the application of EU competition rules underwent very significant changes. In light of the modernisation of EU competition law and the growing importance of the economic analysis in competition cases, the new approach towards historically most rigorously treated infringements of competition law begins to emerge. Since the beginning of application of EU competition rules absolute territorial protection and resale price maintenance were treated as hardcore vertical restraints, having as their object the appreciable restriction of competition; consequently they were considered as de facto per se infringements of Article 101(1) TFEU. This approach was considered as highly formalistic, driven mostly by the market integration goal and not economic considerations, therefore it is constantly met with sharp and reasoned criticism of competition law experts and economists. Consequently, the question arises whether EU competition policy, taking into consideration the contemporary economic reality and distancing itself from the dogma of market integration, should depart from formal application of competition rules and switch to exclusively effects based analysis in each specific case or at least modify or adopt more flexible position towards vertical restraints having as their object the restriction of competition. It is the main objective of the project to examine various possible approaches to this problem and to present solutions which would guide the development of the competition law towards economically sound decisions and legal regime which is compatible with modern economic theory.


Doctoral Student

Darius Miniotas


Dr. Gintare Surblyte

Doctoral Supervisor

Prof. Vytautas Mizaras

Main Areas of Research

Ökonomisierung des Kartellrechts