Signs of Commission’s Verticals Focus Emerge in VBER Evaluation Document

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.

Euclid Law continues to strengthen its practice in London and Brussels with hire of Becket McGrath as partner.

Euclid Law is delighted to announce Becket McGrath has joined the London office as Partner.

Prior to joining the team, Becket one of the founding partners of US firm Cooley’s London office in 2015 and established its Brussels office in 2019. Becket advises clients on all aspects of EU and UK competition law, with an emphasis on defending companies against investigations, distribution issues and merger control. 

He advises clients in a broad range of sectors, in particular media, technology and life sciences sectors. He is a leading expert on distribution issues raised by e-commerce, including in the context of selective distribution, and has advised a number of major online retailers and marketplaces on a wide range of strategic competition issues.

He has experience of enforcing UK and EU competition law at a senior level in the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority) and retains good links with enforcement agencies and regulators in the UK and across the EU.

Becket is listed as a ‘thought leader’ in the latest Who’s Who Legal/Global Competition Review directory of leading competition lawyers.

Full press release can be found here.


Prepared for Expra by Oliver Bretz and Daniele Pinto – March 2020

This report aims at identifying in greater detail how the vertical integration of industry players from different levels of the packaging waste recovery cycle may have anti-competitive effects in the waste recovery market.

Commissioned and funded by EXPRA aisbl/ivzw, the alliance of 26 non-profit packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems from 24 countries which are owned by package producers and importers.

The report was prepared by Euclid Law with complete independence, and its findings are based on the available evidence applied to legal and economic theory in the field of theories of harm to competition caused by vertical concentrations. It gives a general overview of the EU Extended Producer Responsibility policy and the market that it has created in Member States, applies legal and economic theory of competition to the context of vertically-integrated Producer Responsibility Organisations and also relies on concrete examples collected through a survey of waste recovery markets in the 24 countries where EXPRA’s members operate.

Finally, based on the available evidence, this report draws conclusions and makes recommendations to reduce the risk of harm to competition arising from vertical integration in EU waste recovery markets.

To read the full report, please follow the link.