Vertical Agreement Guidelines

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Have the decisions or guidelines on the maintenance of resale prices referred to the possible links between such conduct and other forms of restriction? Explain the analytical framework applicable to the assessment of vertical restraints in relation to anti-dominant positions. Market developments and, in particular, the growth of online sales and online platforms, which have changed the way companies provide and distribute goods and services, are of great importance for the assessment of eg. This shift to a digital economy has led to several problems with the operation of the VBER and has made it increasingly difficult for companies to evaluate their vertical agreements themselves with confidence. Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President in charge of competition policy, recognised that the rules need to be adapted so that they remain appropriate in a rapidly changing digital world5, which will certainly be a challenge for the EC in revising the rules. While certain minor restrictions are included in the vertical agreement (i.e. competition bans of more than five years, ex post facto competition bans and restrictions that oblige members of a selective distribution system not to store the products of a particular competitor of the supplier), these restrictions cannot be enforceable. However, unlike hardcore restrictions, these less stringent restrictions can be dissociated from the agreement, so that the inclusion of these less stringent restrictions does not prevent the rest of the agreement from benefiting from the safe harbour of the vertical block exemption. Which authority is competent to impose prohibitions on anti-competitive vertical restraints? How are cases distributed to several competent authorities? Do governments or ministers have a role? However, a supplier may, by agreement, prevent a buyer from making active sales in an area exclusively allocated to another buyer or which the supplier has reserved exclusively for itself. The Commission`s vertical guidelines below are cited as examples of active sales in the online context of both area-linked website banners and search engine advertisements that are specifically displayed to users in a given area. Restrictions on these activities are allowed under the vertical block exemption, provided that similar restrictions apply to equivalent forms of active sale of the same goods or services offline by that distributor (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique). Has the Authority taken decisions regarding measures taken by suppliers to enforce the terms of selective distribution agreements where such measures are intended to prevent sales by unauthorized buyers or sales by authorized buyers in an unauthorized manner? Until recently, distribution agreements relating either to the purchase, sale or resale of new vehicles or spare parts or to the provision of repair and maintenance services by authorised repairers were covered by a separate sectoral exemption. . .


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