On 8 September, the European Commission (EC) published a Commission Staff Working Document summarising the results of its assessment of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and the accompanying vertical guidelines (guidelines). The results show that VBER and guidelines are useful tools for companies to assess for themselves the compliance of their vertical agreements with EU competition law. However, the market has evolved significantly since the adoption of the VBER and the guidelines in 2010, notably with the growth of online distribution, the expanded role of online platforms and changes in distribution models. As a result, the Commission`s assessment highlighted a number of problems with the VBER and the guidelines to be addressed. Below we summarie the main problems identified and the likely priority areas for the EC when it begins the next phase of its review. The report provides an overview of the direction of the review by the European Commission. It seems that the VBER and vertical directives will remain here, but there seems to be an appetite for a revision, so the rules reflect the growth of the online economy. 3, first paragraph. This publication explains how EU competition rules apply to vertical agreements (i.e.

essentially agreements for the sale or purchase of goods or services between parties operating at different levels of the economic supply chain for the purposes of the agreement). It examines the application of the Commission Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) 1 and the accompanying Commission Vertical Guidelines, which establish principles for the assessment of vertical agreements in accordance with Article. It also takes into account the stricter rules applicable to the automotive sector after the adoption of the Commission`s Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER). Services on the market. The term includes the purchase or supply of intermediate goods (e.g. B.raw materials or goods that are processed by the customer), finished products (e.g. B for resale by a wholesale or retail distributor) or services. It also includes agency contracts. Vertical agreements, which are similar in form, may have very different material effects on competition, just as different types of agreements may have similar effects on competition, depending on the identity of the parties, the structure of the relevant market, etc.

This concerns: (a) Vertical agreements: in a vertical relationship, the product of one is the seizure of the other. This means that the exercise of market power by one party, whether the upstream supplier or the downstream buyer, would normally affect the commercial position of the other party. Parties to a vertical agreement are therefore generally encouraged to prevent each other from imposing inappropriate restrictions. For most vertical agreements, there are serious competition concerns only if there is insufficient competition in the markets covered by the agreement, i.e. where the supplier (and/or buyer) has high market power. . . .