The European Commission launches public consultation on draft Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines

20/07/2021

The European Commission published on 9 July drafts of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines. The said drafts are submitted for public consultation to adapt the existing texts to market developments, including the growth of e-commerce and online platforms. The deadline for contributions is 17 September 2021.

In particular, the draft includes developments on dual distribution (hard and digital), parity obligations (Most Favoured Nation clause), restrictions on active sales and certain indirect measures restricting online sales (e.g. dual pricing system and the equivalence principle).

It also contains specific rules and guidelines on online sales restrictions, online advertising and the platform economy.

Finally, the rules on territorial and customer restrictions are simplified by three separate sets of provisions clarifying the scope of the prohibition for each of the main distribution systems – exclusive, selective and free.

Michel Ponsard and Pauline Dugros

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