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Syfte eller resultat att begränsa konkurrensen - en komparativ studie av rekvisitens utveckling

Bergman, Charlotta LU (2012) JURM01 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Artikel 101.1 fastställer att avtal eller samordnade förfaranden som har till syfte eller resultat att hindra, begränsa eller snedvrida konkurrensen är förbjudna. På 1960-talet kom två kända avgöranden från EU-domstolen, STM och Consten Grundig, vilka anses ha lagt grunden för bedömningen av artikel 101.1. Genom avgöranden klargjorde domstolen artikelns omfattning och tillämpning. I avgörandena konstaterade domstolen inledningsvis att artikeln omfattar såväl horisontella som vertikala avtal som har till syfte eller resultat att begränsa konkurrensen, vilket inte var alldeles självklart vid den tidpunkten. Under de dryga fyrtio år som följt har bedömningen av förbudet i artikel 101 utvecklats och förfinats genom såväl nya fördrag som i... (More)
Artikel 101.1 fastställer att avtal eller samordnade förfaranden som har till syfte eller resultat att hindra, begränsa eller snedvrida konkurrensen är förbjudna. På 1960-talet kom två kända avgöranden från EU-domstolen, STM och Consten Grundig, vilka anses ha lagt grunden för bedömningen av artikel 101.1. Genom avgöranden klargjorde domstolen artikelns omfattning och tillämpning. I avgörandena konstaterade domstolen inledningsvis att artikeln omfattar såväl horisontella som vertikala avtal som har till syfte eller resultat att begränsa konkurrensen, vilket inte var alldeles självklart vid den tidpunkten. Under de dryga fyrtio år som följt har bedömningen av förbudet i artikel 101 utvecklats och förfinats genom såväl nya fördrag som i praxis.

Avtal som bedöms ha till syfte att begränsa konkurrensen är de avtal som genom sin natur anses ha potential hämma konkurrensen. Presumtionen grundar sig på den typ av allvarliga restriktioner som dessa avtal utgör och där tidigare erfarenheter visat på negativa effekter på marknaden. Avtalet anses ”by its very nature” begränsa konkurrensen.

Bedömningen av om ett avtal har ett konkurrensbegränsande syfte eller inte grundar sig på ett antal olika faktorer. Dessa faktorer är framförallt avtalets innehåll syften men även i vilket sammanhang avtalet skall tillämpas och hur parterna faktiskt uppträder och agerar på marknaden tas i beaktande. En analys av det berörda avtalet görs således med utgångspunkt i avtalsvillkoren, parternas beteende och det rättsliga och ekonomiska sammanhanget.

I sitt förslag till avgörande i Consten Grundig gjorde Generaladvokat Roemer en referens till amerikansk konkurrensrätt. Inom den amerikanska konkurrensrätten tillämpas det så kallade per se- förbudet, en motsvarighet till förbjudet i artikel 101.1 för avtal som har till syfte att begränsa konkurrensen. Per se förbudet innebär att avtal som är ”uppenbart konkurrenshämmande” och som saknar överbyggande positiva effekter bedöms vara förbjudna. Bedöms ett avtal omfattas av förbudet vidtas ingen analys av dess ekonomiska effekt på den relevanta marknaden, då själva syftet med förbudet är att effektivisera bedömningsprocessen och undvika koststamma och utdragna utredningar, för de avtal som utgör särskilt allvarliga konkurrensbegränsningar och som därmed kan förutsättas skada konkurrensen.

Även om de två jurisdiktioner har motsvarande förbud för särskilt allvarliga konkurrensbegränsningar, skiljer sig tillämpning av dessa förbud åt. Medan per se förbudets tillämpning sedan Leegin-avgörandet kommit att begränsas och inte längre omfatta vertikala avtal, så står sig principen som etablerades i STM och Consten Grundig, att vertikala avtal som syftar till att begränsa konkurrensen omfattas av artikel 101.1. Genom PFDC, som gäller begränsning av Internethandel i selektiva distributionssystem, visar utgången på att bedömningen av vertikala avtal, vilken skett mot bakgrund av Kommissionens nya riktlinjer, alltjämt är den att vertikala avtal fortsättningsvis kommer kunna anses ha ett konkurrensbegränsande syfte. (Less)
Abstract
Article 101.1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that all agreements between undertakings or concerted practices, which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, are prohibited. In 1960 the Court of Justice gave its judgment in STM and Consten Grundig, two decisions which are regarded to have laid the foundation for the assessment of article 101.1. By these decisions, the Court of Justice clarified the scope and application of the article. By way of introduction, the court established that the prohibition comprised both horizontal and vertical agreements, which was not evident at that point. During the following forty years, the assessment of the prohibition in the... (More)
Article 101.1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that all agreements between undertakings or concerted practices, which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, are prohibited. In 1960 the Court of Justice gave its judgment in STM and Consten Grundig, two decisions which are regarded to have laid the foundation for the assessment of article 101.1. By these decisions, the Court of Justice clarified the scope and application of the article. By way of introduction, the court established that the prohibition comprised both horizontal and vertical agreements, which was not evident at that point. During the following forty years, the assessment of the prohibition in the article developed and was modulated by new treaties and case law.

Agreements with the object to restrict competition are those agreements that by nature have potential to prevent competition. The presumption is based on the restriction that such agreements constitute and precedent experience of such agreements’ negative effect on the market. The agreement is “by its very nature” assessed to restrict competition.

The assessment whether an agreement has as its object to restrict competition or not is based upon several elements. Such elements are especially the terms of the agreement but also the conduct of the parties. An analysis is thus carried out in the light of the terms of the agreement, the conduct of the parties and the legal and economical context in which it will function.

In its opinion to Consten Grundig, the General Advocate Roemer made a reference to American Antitrust law. The American Antitrust law comprises the so called per se prohibition, equivalent to the prohibition in article 101.1 on agreements which have as their object to restrict competition. The per se prohibition applies to those agreements that are manifestly anticompetitive and lack any redeeming virtue. If an agreement falls under the per se prohibition, it is not necessary to assess its impact on the relevant market, because the rationale of the rule is to avoid prolonged economic investigations where the agreements have severe negative effects, and hence, can be presumed to harm competition.

Even if EC Competition Law and American Antitrust law contain similar prohibitions, the application of their respective prohibition is different. While the rule on per se has been restricted and is no longer applicable on vertical agreements after the Leegin- judgment, the principle established in STM and Consten Grundig of the scope of Article 101.1 still lasts. Through PFDC, which concerns restriction of sale on internet within a selective distribution system, the outcome shows that vertical agreements can, in the light of the new guidelines from the Commission, continuously be assessed to have as its object to restrict competition. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bergman, Charlotta LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Object or Effect to Restrain Competetion - a Comparative Study of the Requirements's Development
course
JURM01 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
konkurrensrätt
language
Swedish
id
3050632
date added to LUP
2012-11-01 10:20:08
date last changed
2012-11-01 10:20:08
@misc{3050632,
  abstract     = {Article 101.1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that all agreements between undertakings or concerted practices, which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, are prohibited. In 1960 the Court of Justice gave its judgment in STM and Consten Grundig, two decisions which are regarded to have laid the foundation for the assessment of article 101.1. By these decisions, the Court of Justice clarified the scope and application of the article. By way of introduction, the court established that the prohibition comprised both horizontal and vertical agreements, which was not evident at that point. During the following forty years, the assessment of the prohibition in the article developed and was modulated by new treaties and case law.

Agreements with the object to restrict competition are those agreements that by nature have potential to prevent competition. The presumption is based on the restriction that such agreements constitute and precedent experience of such agreements’ negative effect on the market. The agreement is “by its very nature” assessed to restrict competition. 

The assessment whether an agreement has as its object to restrict competition or not is based upon several elements. Such elements are especially the terms of the agreement but also the conduct of the parties. An analysis is thus carried out in the light of the terms of the agreement, the conduct of the parties and the legal and economical context in which it will function. 

In its opinion to Consten Grundig, the General Advocate Roemer made a reference to American Antitrust law. The American Antitrust law comprises the so called per se prohibition, equivalent to the prohibition in article 101.1 on agreements which have as their object to restrict competition. The per se prohibition applies to those agreements that are manifestly anticompetitive and lack any redeeming virtue. If an agreement falls under the per se prohibition, it is not necessary to assess its impact on the relevant market, because the rationale of the rule is to avoid prolonged economic investigations where the agreements have severe negative effects, and hence, can be presumed to harm competition. 

Even if EC Competition Law and American Antitrust law contain similar prohibitions, the application of their respective prohibition is different. While the rule on per se has been restricted and is no longer applicable on vertical agreements after the Leegin- judgment, the principle established in STM and Consten Grundig of the scope of Article 101.1 still lasts. Through PFDC, which concerns restriction of sale on internet within a selective distribution system, the outcome shows that vertical agreements can, in the light of the new guidelines from the Commission, continuously be assessed to have as its object to restrict competition.},
  author       = {Bergman, Charlotta},
  keyword      = {konkurrensrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Syfte eller resultat att begränsa konkurrensen - en komparativ studie av rekvisitens utveckling},
  year         = {2012},
}