Doing ‘the right thing’ in a profitable way seems to be a trend that is increasingly gaining field among business. This triggers undertakings to innovate, create new technologies and adapt the supply chain management of their production and distribution processes, which often turns out to require costly investments. Moreover, market parties often are forced to operate together with like-minded undertakings. This cooperation has instigated a lot of discussion in the framework to the current European competition law under which the behavior of market parties is scrutinized. Researches show that undertakings attach great importance to the competition policies, however, these are not always as clear and predictable. In this framework this paper, aims to identify the criteria that agreements between undertakings should fulfill in order to be considered as an exemption under Article 101(3) TFEU. In this perspective importance takes also the state-funded aid granted directly by Member States, in cases when it distorts or is likely to distort competition and adversely affects trade between Member States. Results will shed light on the so called grey area, in which these undertakings operates and unsure whether their collective actions are qualified as permissible under Article 101.
Keywords: Antitrust Laws, Block Exemption, Competition, Market Liberalization, State Aid, Trade, Vertical Restraints