The objective of Article 101 of the Lisbon Treaty has a commercial use. This economic objective represented by Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty makes it possible to efficiently protect, guarantee, and secure the market. Article 101 of the Treaty covers the market because it offers various products at the lowest price. In the people’s interest, competition, as a mechanism against the market, creates a more efficient relationship.
For a cartel agreement to be considered incompatible under Article 101, it must meet all its conditions. First, one must see or prove an action that favors two different enterprises. It is then verified whether the two companies have an agreement between them or have agreed to organize operations with each other. This kind of action significantly affects the market by disrupting fair competition.
According to authors Craig / de Burce in one example, they say that “one supplier intends to enter the market but decides to establish a deal with the Brown company using his distributor in a particular area. It announces from the other side as a condition that I only distribute this product to this firm and no one else in that area. ” Here, this agreement has affected some market restrictions, but it also indicates improvement and expansion. The market, as a new product, is entering the market.
Such contracts limit competition, but on the other hand, improving in part means that judging these issues is not objective. Therefore, a deal that exists in the Cartel’s sense is in favor of the two companies. One of the ECJ’s decisions concerning a pharmaceutical firm, Bayer, with its business partners, suspected that these firms could be in a cartel agreement under Article 101. Still, the Commission could not prove whether these companies had agreed to the contract or merely committed coordinated actions or behaviors to reduce competition. Therefore, Bayer could not decide if they had violated Article 101 of the treaty even though this firm had reduced competition.
According to the Union, an agreement made by two parties can also be accepted if it is proven by tacit assertion. One of the Commission’s decisions was defined as a form of coordination between two companies, which did not come in the form of a contract still, merely practical cooperation to reduce competition without doing so in writing.
The EU cartel rules are binding on horizontal and vertical agreements. By parallel contracts, we mean those agreements between two parties with the same market scope. At the same time, vertical transactions are concluded between two competitors operating at different production and distribution rates. The Commission has published directives on vertical agreements, while on horizontal ones, the Commission has published notes on the implementation of Article 101 of the Treaty of Lisbon.