In recent years, franchising has become an increasingly popular sales structure throughout the EU. A franchise is a vertical agreement and should therefore not contain any of the severe restrictions set out in the VBER to qualify for the category exemption. Nevertheless, it is (…) On 8 September 2020, the European Commission published its working paper for the Commission`s services (“assessment document”) on the results of its evaluation of the VBER and its guidelines. One of the main shortcomings of the current framework is the lack of guidelines on how retail parity clauses should be (…) In light of the expiry of the Vertical Agreements Class Exemption Regulation, which expires on May 31, 2022, and the related guidelines on vertical restrictions, the Commission conducted a review of the Class Exemption Regulation in October 2018 to decide whether or not to (…) The Geographical Blocking Regulation came into force on March 22, 2018. It provides for Member States to establish the rules defining the measures applicable to violations of the Geographical Blocking Regulation and which determine the application of these provisions under the responsibility of national states (…) Big data issues and access to data as an essential input are rapidly gaining importance in vertical relationships. This is reflected in the recent evaluation of stakeholder input in the Commission`s review of the VBER. In the past, Hungarian competition (…) Until recently, the vast majority of vertical restriction jurisprudence was at the level of NCAs and national courts. The Commission`s final report on the sectoral inquiry into e-commerce was a turning point. Since its publication in May 2017, the Commission has reiterated its interest in vertical restrictions and in 2018 has imposed fines on several companies for restrictions on MPRs and cross-selling. It fined Nike and Guess for restricting cross-border sales in 2019. The judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) also focused on the issue of the sale of online marketplaces, with the ECJ ruling that a ban on a platform in a selective distribution system was permitted in certain circumstances.
These recent decisions show that vertical agreements are likely to remain a topic of interest, including at the level of the EU authorities. Therefore, the current assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the VBER and its guidelines is important in light of digital changes in vertical relationships. Although the final report provides an overview of the likely priority, the Commission still needs to carry out a detailed impact assessment, which means that no new regulations are expected before the expiration of the VBER in May 2022. Cumulative effects relate to situations where the cumulative effect of parallel networks of similar vertical agreements used by competitors severely limits market access. The literature examined in the Commission`s consultation suggests that the cumulative effects of vertical restrictions could be more detrimental to competition than their isolated use by the various actors. CCPC extends vertical data reporting – The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) today extended the validity of its statement on vertical agreements and concerted practices (the “declaration”) until December 1, 2022. The statement came on 1 December (…)  Vertical agreements between competitors are subject to further scrutiny. See Regulation (EC) 330/2010, art.2(4). While the vast majority of new aid schemes (nearly 95% according to 2019 figures) under a category exemption regulation, the question of the correct application and interpretation of the provisions of these regulations becomes even more acute.