HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes consultation on Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (330/2010/EU)

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The Commission explains that the purpose of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation is to exempt from the prohibition contained in Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union those vertical agreements which restrict competition, but for which it can be assumed with sufficient certainty that they satisfy the conditions of Article 101(3). Article 101(3) allows agreements between undertakings that contribute to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefits.

The Commission also adopted a Commission Notice providing guidance on the interpretation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Article 101 of the Treaty.

In October 2018, the Commission launched an evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation to gather evidence on its functioning, as well as that of the Guidance, to allow the Commission to determine whether it should let the Block Exemption Regulation lapse, prolong its duration or revise it, together with the Guidance.

This public consultation, which is part of the evaluation of the Block Exemption Regulation, aims to collect evidence and views from stakeholders.

The Commission has identified stakeholders that it thinks are interested in, or affected by, the Regulation: (i) companies with business operations in the EU, including but not limited to suppliers of goods and services, distributors/retailers of goods and services and platforms/intermediaries active in e-commerce; (ii) law firms advising them on related competition issues; (iii) industry associations; (iv) consumer organisations; and (v) academics with a focus on EU competition law and notably on vertical restraints.

The consultation closes on 27 May 2019. To access the consultation, click here.

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