An example of this case be seen in the case where rules of a glass manufactures association with a trader who was involved in fixed-pricing was deemed to fall within the scope of Article 101.
Therefore, it is not just obvious restrictions that will be caught by the Act but even those were there would be a possibility of unfair competition taking place.
It was introduced as part of the EU’s general anti-trust rules to prohibit ‘any agreement or concerted practice which is made between two or more undertakings, which may affect trade between Member States and which has the object or effect or preventing, restricting or distorting competition.’ Article 101 was, therefore, part of the EU’s drive towards ensuring that fair competition existed between Member States.
This was recognised by the European Commission when it was pointed out that; ‘Article 101 is to protect effective competition by ensuring that markets remain open and competitive.’ Any activity that would be likely to distort competition with the EU is, therefore, prohibited by this Article even if the agreement is signed outside of the EU since Article 101 effects all trade that would have an impact on the internal market as identified in where an agreement between European and Japanese companies to abstain from bidding in the EU and Japan violated Article 101 on the basis that it ‘contributed directly to the restriction of competition on the internal market.’ Whilst Article 101 only impacts trade between Member States, the scope of this Article is rather wide since it covers any trade that would be likely to have an impact upon the free competition of the internal market.
‘Guidelines on the Application of Article 81 (3)’ EC, para 47 Field Fisher Waterhouse.
comes out monthly from November through June and has roughly 2,500 pages per volume.It is provided under Article 101(2) that such agreements would automatically be void for distorting free competition within the internal market.This was a significant change as competing undertakings are being made to determine their conduct and pricing independently.Price fixing under Article 101 also extends to services, as exemplified in Prohibitions against fixed-pricing and market sharing has been largely welcomed by this Article as it these particular type of practices are viewed extremely seriously.This was stressed by Slaughter and May when it was stated that ‘secret price-fixing or market sharing cartels are viewed as hard-core infringements which will almost always be condemned.’ Article 101 does, however, provide exemptions under subsection 3 if it can be shown that the agreement is beneficial to the internal market, and thus ‘improves production or distribution, promotes technical or economic progress or allows consumers a fair share of the benefit.’ As this has a detrimental effect upon society as a whole it is integral that prohibitions are placed on such unfair practices.Free competition is a vital part of the functioning of the internal market which is why it is imperative that provisions are in place to prohibit any restrictions that are placed on trade.As put by Frenz; there needs to remain an ‘open, free and distortion free system of competition within the European Union.’ This is the primary objective of Article 101 since there exists no other rights or obligations that are placed on states and private actors and so Article 101 ‘represents the sole basis for specific substantive and legal consequences in competition law.’ Changes to the law The main legal change that was made by Article 101 was the prohibition that was placed on anti-competitive agreements, including price fixing.You can view samples of our professional work here.Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Law Teacher. Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prohibits any agreements or cartels between Member States that could disrupt free competition within the internal market.Unlike Article 101, this Article applies to unilateral actions so that a party may violate this Article even if they are found to be acting alone.This is important in ensuring that any imperfections in the internal market are being effectively regulated.