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The VBER and its guidelines expire on May 31, 2022. The EC conducted a two-year evaluation to determine whether the VBER and guidelines should be completed, renewed or revised by gathering evidence from a variety of sources, including public consultation, targeted consultation with national competition authorities, a stakeholder workshop and an external evaluation study. The EC also gathered evidence from the results of its investigation into the imkund economy sector, launched in May 2015 and closed in May 2017. In addition, in recent years, the EC has gained knowledge through its own experience in implementing vertical restrictions. Finally, the evaluation stresses that regulation should not only address known problems, but should also take into account possible new types of agreements and vertical restrictions, which are all the more likely as market conditions have accelerated in recent years. The future evolution of the market is obviously difficult to predict. The Commission proposes that, in order for the rules to be as `sustainable` as possible, the rules should, as far as possible, contain principles specific to specific guidelines, in addition to the more specific guidelines on restrictions often close to them. Definition of Vertical Agreements The guidelines confirm that vertical agreements within the meaning of Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Category Exemption Regulation are concerted agreements or practices between two or more companies that, for the purposes of the agreement, operate at another level of the production or distribution chain and relate to the conditions under which the parties may acquire. to sell or resell certain goods or services.” This means that when a company produces a raw material that another company uses as an input, or if a business is a producer, the second is a wholesaler and the third a retailer, an agreement between them could be governed by the category exemption regulation. According to the guidelines, this does not exclude a company operating at more than one level of the production or distribution chain. Agreements between companies, one of which supplies products to the other at entry and delivery, may be covered. However, agreements with non-business end consumers are not in place. Practical measures: Companies should consider reviewing their existing vertical agreements to determine if they meet the requirements of the new VABE.

Otherwise, companies will have to review the agreements individually to determine whether they restrict competition and, if so, whether they meet the individual exemption criteria. The new vertical agreements should be carefully developed to ensure that they benefit, as far as possible, from the VABE.

Posted on December 19th, 2020 | filed under Uncategorized |

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