Contracting parties may include restrictions or contractual obligations in vertical agreements to protect an investment or simply to ensure day-to-day activity (for example. B, sales, supply or purchase agreements). Article 101, paragraph 1 of the TFUE prohibits agreements between companies with the purpose or effect of restricting, preventing or distorting competition within the Union and affecting trade between EU Member States. This prohibition is relevant to all agreements between two or more companies, whether they are competitors. Even in cases where a category exemption does not apply, a vertical agreement may continue to benefit from an individual exemption. The parties are authorized to conduct a self-assessment to determine whether the restrictive vertical competition agreement meets the requirements for the individual exemption. Like the EU competition regime, the conditions for individual exemption are: (i) the agreement must contribute to improving the production or distribution of products or to promoting technical or economic progress; (ii) it must give consumers an appropriate share of the resulting benefit; (iii) it should not impose restrictions on the companies concerned that are not necessary to achieve these objectives; and (iv) it should not allow the parties to eliminate competition on a substantial portion of the products concerned. This is not an alternative test and all individual exemption requirements must be met. There are cases where certain types of agreements do not automatically fall within the scope of Article 101 of the TFUE, for example. B: Vertical agreements that meet the conditions of exemption and do not contain so-called „hard” restrictions on competition are exempt from the prohibition under Article 101, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by Regulation 330/2010 . 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 applies Regulation 330/2010 to motor vehicle repair and spare parts agreements as of June 1, 2013, it also complements Regulation 330 with three additional „hardcore” clauses, provided they do not contain specific restrictions (as defined in the category exemption regulations), a number of vertical agreements may benefit from the protection of exemptions by category, thus avoiding the prohibition of Article 4. Below is a list of exemption regulations by category that may apply, among other things, to vertical agreements. Depending on the particular circumstances surrounding each individual case, some of the following vertical agreements may or may not apply: a vertical agreement is a term used in competition law to refer to agreements between companies operating at different levels of the production and distribution chain (e.g.B.