As part of the ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines, on 4 February 2022, DG COMP launched a two-week consultation regarding proposed guidance on information exchanges in dual distribution. The proposed new section provides much needed clarity and valuable additional guidance on the circumstances in which information exchange in a dual distribution context will not raise concerns. The Commission also appears to have dropped the proposed 10% market share threshold, which is very welcome as this will materially reduce complexity and uncertainty.
Euclid Law’s response is available here.
As part of its ongoing assessment of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER), the European Commission launched a public consultation questionnaire, which closed on 26 March 2021, to obtain specific feedback on various policy options.
Euclid Law responded to the consultation, agreeing with the Commission’s overall evaluation that the VBER and Guidelines remain useful and relevant, but also agreeing that they need to be updated to take account of market and case law developments since 2010.
To support the questionnaire response, Euclid Law prepared a separate paper focused on some of the specific points addressed by the Commission, which you can find here.
by Becket McGrath, Sarah Long and Aakash Kumbhat
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) published the results of its evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) and associated guidelines in the form of a Staff Working Document.
The 232 page document summarises evidence received by the Commission from businesses, their advisers, consumer bodies and national competition authorities (‘NCAs’) in response to its consultation on the operation of the current vertical agreements regime. It also takes account of the findings of the Commission’s E-commerce sector inquiry, which ran from 2015 to 2017, and a detailed ‘evaluation support study’ that was conducted by external consultants. Although the document is primarily concerned with pulling together the wide-ranging views received through this process, which has been running since 2018, it does contain some broad conclusions and an indication of its priorities for updating the verticals regime.
To read the full note, click here.
The EC’s consultation on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and Vertical Guidelines (VGL) closed for comments on 27 May 2019. Euclid Law responded to the consultation, calling for greater clarity around restrictions on online marketplace sales in order to preserve brand equity. To support the response, Euclid Law also submitted an expert report entitled ‘Amazon and the growth in online marketplace sales’ by James Thomson, formally the business head of Amazon services, and now a partner at BuyBox Experts, a managed services agency supporting brands selling online. A full copy of our response is available here and the expert report is available here.
Sarah Long’s short LinkedIn opinion on the consultation is available here.
This year’s conference topics will focus on competition litigation and vertical agreements, which are both highly relevant given the recent developments in national courts throughout Europe and the European Commission’s review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation. The opening speech will be given by Sir Peter Roth, President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.