- Alison Jones, Alison JonesSolicitor, Professor of Law, King’s College London
- Brenda SufrinBrenda SufrinSolicitor, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Bristol
- and Niamh DunneNiamh DunneSolicitor, Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics
This chapter examines the relationship between Article 101(1) and Article 101(3). It looks at the central question of which agreements, decisions, and concerted practices have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction, or distortion of competition for the purposes of Article 101(1) and at the issue of which agreements are held to infringe Article 101(1) but meet the criteria for exemption from the prohibition set out in Article 101(3). The chapter looks at the way in which the interpretation of ‘object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition’ has changed since the early days of EEC competition law and at the problems of identifying which agreements are restrictive by object and which restrictive by effect. It examines the recent and controversial case law on the concept of a restriction of competition by object, considers how restrictive effects are identified, and explores the concept of appreciability and the De Minimis Notice. The chapter also considers the matter of which restrictive agreements may nevertheless escape the prohibition in Article 101(1) because they individually meet either the four criteria set out in Article 101(3) or the conditions of a block exemption. It discusses whether the Article 101(3) criteria can encompass socio-political or public policy matters, including whether, and if so when, agreements between competitors designed to achieve sustainability objectives. may satisfy the conditions of Article 101(3).