Such conduct shall be prohibited only if it is intended to prevent, restrict or distort competition. Learn more about our role in food regulation. The golden rule is that an exchange or disclosure of information (whether directly with/to competitors or through a trade association or other third party) should not allow an undertaking to more accurately predict the competitive behaviour of its competitors or to reduce the degree of uncertainty as to the functioning of the market that would have existed in the absence of such an exchange of information. First of all, it is necessary to determine whether an undertaking is dominant on the market or whether it behaves `to a significant extent independently of its competitors, its customers and, ultimately, its consumer`.  In EU law, in the case of very large market shares, there is a presumption that an undertaking holds a dominant position which can be rebuttable.  Where an undertaking concentrates on a dominant position, “there is a particular responsibility not to allow its conduct to affect competition in the common market”.  Like collusive behaviour, market shares are determined by reference to the market in which the company and the product in question are sold. Although lists are rarely closed, certain categories of abusive behaviour are generally prohibited by the country`s legislation. For example, restricting production at a shipping port by refusing to increase spending and update technology could be abusive.  Linking one product to the sale of another can prove this to them, as it restricts consumer choice and deprives competitors of outlets. This was the alleged case in Microsoft v Commission, which ultimately resulted in a fine of several million euros when it introduced its Windows Media Player into the Microsoft Windows platform. Refusal to provide an essential asset for all companies trying to compete with each other can be an abuse.
An example is a case involving a medical company called Commercial Solvents.  When it established its own competitor in the anti-TB drug market, Commercial Solvents was forced to continue to supply a company called Zoja with the raw materials for the drug. Zoja was the only competitor in the market, so without the court that enforces the offer, all competition would have been eliminated. Restrictions of competition contained in a vertical agreement may be exempted if they meet the criteria for the block exemption in the Vertical Agreement (VABE) (which provides for a flat-rate exemption for agreements that meet certain criteria) or if they meet the individual exemption criteria referred to in Article 101(3) (or, where applicable, to the equivalent of the United Kingdom). . . . . .