On 9 July 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published the draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft VBER”) and draft revised guidelines on vertical restraints (“Draft VGL”), a key step in the context of the revision of the current regime governing vertical agreements, set to expire on 31 May 2022. Comments on the drafts may be submitted to the Commission by 17 September 2021.
The Draft VBER and Draft VGL would bring about a number of important changes to the application of the EU competition rules to a wide range of vertical agreements. These changes would impact not only distribution systems for branded products but vertical agreements in all industry sectors across the entire economy. We provide a first detailed analysis of the most important changes and their potential impact on market participants.