Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation Guidelines
In recent years, franchising has become an increasingly popular sales structure across the EU. A franchise is a vertical agreement and should therefore not contain any of the essential restrictions set by the VBER to benefit from the block exemption. Nevertheless, (…) On 8 September 2020, the European Commission published its Commission Staff Working Document („Evaluation Document“) on the results of its evaluation of the VBER and its guidelines. One of the main shortcomings in the current framework is the lack of guidelines, such as parity clauses for retail trade (…) The VDC defines the categories of vertical agreements exempted from the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements (Article 101 TFEU) on the basis that their restrictive effects on competition are outweighed by pro-competitive effects (in accordance with Article 101(3) TFEU). It aims to ensure legal certainty for stakeholders as regards vertical agreements that can be considered to comply with Article 101 of the Treaty on the basis of a simpler regulatory framework than Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and on agreements that require an extended individual assessment. It will also serve as a common assessment framework for national competition authorities (NCAs) and national courts to ensure consistency in the application of the applicable rules and thus a level playing field for EU businesses. Timetable: The new rules will enter into force on 1 June 2010, after the expiry of the legislation in force. Agreements in force on 31 May 2010 benefit from a transitional period of one year which does not fulfil the conditions of the revised VABE (e.g. B due to the buyer`s high market share), but the current version. For more information: The new legislation can be found at: ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/legislation/vertical.html The consultation distinguished between the most common wages for wholesale workers, most often in the mass market segment – and the highest wages for retail, most often in the online world. In the Commission`s replies, the reduction in attendance at price negotiations between producers and suppliers is considered to be one of the main advantages of the highest quality clauses with deposition.
With regard to retail most often, some stakeholders expressed concern about the use of the highest remuneration by travel agencies in the hotel sector. The Commission considered that, on the basis of the information gathered during the evaluation, the narrowest references (i.e. the closest ones) where better conditions cannot be offered through specific channels or for certain parties), as well as through global distributions (i.e. if no chain or party can offer better terms) have had anti-competitive effects in the hotel booking sector. The final report concludes that without the existence of the VBER and the guidelines, procedural costs for businesses would be much higher and legal certainty in the evaluation of vertical agreements would be reduced. . . .