However, according to the case-law in force, Article 2596 of the Civil Code does not apply to agreements between undertakings operating at different levels of the line (so-called vertical agreements), as is the case for franchising. Consequently, a non-competition clause in a franchise agreement is not subject to the limits laid down in Article 2596 of the Civil Code; which means that the parties (and, in principle, the franchisor) are free to regulate the non-competition clause in the contract if they are privileged. . . .