Guidance regarding distribution agreements

This guidance outlines the competition rules applicable to various types of distribution agreements – primarily supply and distribution agreements, but also franchise agreements. The aim of the guidance is to explain what suppliers and resellers should consider when entering into agreements regarding the purchase and sale of a product or service – what contract terms are permitted, and what are to be avoided?

The majority of companies cooperate with other companies on the purchase or sale of goods and services through various types of distribution agreements. In competition law, agreements between companies operating at different levels of a production or distribution chain are known as “vertical agreements”.

When suppliers and resellers enter into agreements, it is important that they have knowledge of the relevant competition regulations. Because distribution agreements often have positive effects on competition, they are considered permissible. However, there are a number of pitfalls to look out for.

The Swedish Competition Authority has produced a guidance package to assist you and your company in identifying the permitted contract terms, and the contract terms that should be avoided.

The guidance only applies to distribution agreements concluded between companies which are not competitors. From the point of view of competition, cooperation between competitors are certainly much more problematic.

Read more about vertical agreements in general

The use of this guidance is completely anonymous - you are not requested to submit any personal information.

The guidance cannot replace legal advice

Assessments under competition rules are complex and must be based on the particular circumstances in each individual case. This guidance provides answers to a number of questions that may arise, but it should not be construed, nor does it replace legal advice or legal opinion on any subject matter.

The Swedish Competition Authority does not provide guidance or preliminary rulings in matters concerning specific cases.

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