The activities of the Commission's competition department in the anti-trust field involve the application of Articles 101, 102 and 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The motor vehicle sector also has its own "block exemption" regulation, This is a safe harbour that exempts a whole category of motor vehicle distribution and repair agreements from the prohibition laid down in Article 101(1).
Agreements can benefit from the block exemption so long as they do not contain any serious restrictions of competition and meet the other conditions laid down by the Regulation. The task of the Commission's competition department is to monitor the effects of this Regulation on the relevant markets and to provide appropriate guidance on its interpretation to those interested. It does so in close liaison with the competition authorities of the Member States.
Block Exemption Regulation
Supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles
Official Journal C138, 28.5.2010, p.16.
Frequently asked questions on the application of EU antitrust rules in the motor vehicle sector
bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv (27.08.2012)
Other legal texts useful for assessing vertical agreements in the motor vehicles sector
Commission Regulation 330/2010 of 20 April 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices.
Official Journal L 102, 23.4.2010, p.1-7
Commission notice - Guidelines on Vertical Restraints
Official Journal C 130, 19.05.2010, p. 1
Commission notice on the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law
Official Journal: OJ C 372 09.12.1997, p. 5-13.
Commission Notice on agreements of minor importance which do not appreciably restrict competition under Article 81(1) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (de minimis)
Official Journal C 368, 22.12.2001, pages 13-15
Communication from the Commission - Notice - Guidelines on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty
Official Journal C 101, 27.04.2004, pages 97- 118
Commission Notice - Guidelines on the effect on trade concept contained in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty
Official Journal C 101, 27.04.2004, pages 81-96
This archive contains legislation no longer in force, as well as documents from the legislative process leading to the adoption of Regulation 1400/2002 and of Regulation 461/2010.