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It is particularly important that the CMA increasingly focuses on vulnerable consumers and improves confidence in markets, including combating competition law violations in the provision of medicines to the NHS. In the area of vertical agreements, the CMA has given priority to RPM investigations (see question 2.4), most of its letters of advice and warning about potential MPP violations. According to the guidelines, most franchise agreements meet these conditions, as the franchisor makes contractual goods or services available to the franchisee and intellectual property rights assist the franchisee in reselling them. Typically, the franchisor also provides commercial or technical assistance to the franchisee (for example. B procurement services, training and financial planning). The Commission also notes that franchise agreements that include a licence for intellectual property rights may be covered by the category exemption if the licence is not the main purpose of the agreement, and conversely, that franchise agreements that only involve the granting of intellectual property rights are not covered by the category exemption. , but individual cases are treated in a similar way. 2.4 Are there any types of vertical agreements or restrictions that are absolutely protected («per se»? Are there any types of vertical agreements or restrictions that are, in themselves, against the law? 2.7 How are vertical agreements analyzed if one of the parties is vertically integrated at the same level as the other part (so-called «double distribution»)? Are these agreements treated as vertical or horizontal agreements? Selective distribution can dismantle a retail market if it is practised by a sufficient proportion of producers. For example, if manufacturers of the most popular brands of a product have similar distribution agreements with their distributors (which means that relatively few retailers have the right to store the full range of popular brands), this may prevent unauthorized retailers from offering effective competition and thus give market power to licensed retailers. Economic analysis plays an important role in determining dominance and abuse.

As with the CMA vertical restrictions analysis, the CMA`s investigation team is likely to include one or more economists. Courts will also regularly rely on economic experts in cases of abuse of dominance. See also question 2.9. Overall, CMA decisions are unlikely to be appealed in the area of vertical restrictions (with the notable exception of sports equipment for which golf club manufacturer Ping appealed the CMA`s infringement decision to the Court of Appeal («CoA»). Companies under investigation, including RPM, will often enter into an early resolution agreement with the CMA and move in; as a general rule, the evidence of a serious breach of the nucleus is strong and the offence is relatively easy to prove, making confessions particularly attractive in exchange for a reduced sentence (see question 2.4). List and description of the types of vertical restrictions subject to antitrust legislation. Is the concept of vertical restraint defined in the law of agreements? Intellectual property rights do not play a major role in the CMA or in the UK`s assessment of vertical agreements.