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Vertical agreements are contracts or arrangements between businesses operating at different levels of the supply chain. They are usually made between a supplier and a customer, and they can have both positive and negative effects on competition and consumers. While vertical agreements can lead to greater efficiency and lower prices, they can also lead to anti-competitive behavior, such as foreclosure of rival suppliers or resale price maintenance. Therefore, competition law regulates and restricts certain types of vertical agreements that may harm competition and distort the market. In this article, we will discuss some examples of vertical agreements that are prohibited or restricted by competition law.

1. Exclusive dealing agreements

Exclusive dealing agreements are contracts where a supplier agrees to sell all or most of its products or services to only one customer, or where a customer agrees to purchase all or most of its requirements from only one supplier. These agreements can harm competition by foreclosing market access for rival suppliers or limiting consumer choice. Therefore, exclusive dealing agreements are prohibited under the EU competition law and are subject to scrutiny under the US antitrust law.

2. Resale price maintenance agreements

Resale price maintenance agreements are contracts where a supplier specifies a minimum or fixed price at which its products or services must be resold by the customer to end-users. These agreements may lead to higher prices for consumers and limit discounting or promotional activities by the customer. Therefore, resale price maintenance agreements are prohibited under the EU competition law and are subject to scrutiny under the US antitrust law.

3. Tying and bundling agreements

Tying and bundling agreements are contracts where a supplier requires the customer to purchase one product or service (the tying product) in order to obtain another product or service (the tied product). Tying and bundling agreements can force customers to accept products or services they do not want or need and foreclose market access for rival suppliers. Therefore, tying and bundling agreements are subject to scrutiny under the EU competition law and the US antitrust law.

4. Price discrimination agreements

Price discrimination agreements are contracts where a supplier charges different prices for the same product or service to different customers or territories. Price discrimination can harm competition by giving preferential treatment to certain customers or territories and limiting access for rivals. Therefore, price discrimination agreements are prohibited under the EU competition law and the US antitrust law.

5. Vertical mergers and acquisitions

Vertical mergers and acquisitions are transactions where the merging firms operate at different levels of the supply chain. Vertical mergers and acquisitions can have both positive and negative effects on competition and consumers. On one hand, they can lead to greater efficiency and innovation, and lower prices. On the other hand, they can harm competition by foreclosing market access, limiting choice, or increasing buyer power. Therefore, vertical mergers and acquisitions are subject to scrutiny under the EU and US competition law.

In conclusion, vertical agreements can have varying effects on competition and consumers, and competition law regulates and restricts certain types of vertical agreements that may harm competition and distort the market. Copy editors experienced in SEO should be aware of the legal framework and terminology of competition law when writing about vertical agreements and should use relevant keywords and phrases to optimize their articles for search engines.