On 9 July 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for a revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and its accompanying guidelines (the “Draft VBER” and the “Draft VGL”). These rules will replace Commission Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 of 20 April 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices (OJ L 102, 23.4.2010, p. 1–7) (“Current VBER”) and Commission Notice – Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (OJ C 130, 19.5.2010, p. 1–46) (“Current VGL”).
The Spanish Association for the Defence of Competition welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Draft VBER and Draft VGL.
The AEDC’s observations have been provided by a working group of lawyers, economists and academics, all specialists in the competition law field. However, these observations have been made on an individual basis and do not necessarily represent the views of all the members of the Association.
The members who have contributed to this working group are (by alphabetical order): Marcos Araujo, Juan-José Gisbert, Fernando Las Navas, Patricia Liñán, Carlos Morán, Irene Moreno-Tapia, Edurne Navarro, Carlos Pascual Alberto Pérez, Rafael Piqueras, Mireia Prat, Pablo Solano, Javier Torrecilla, Jaime Torres, Ainhoa Veiga, Patricia Vidal.
The issues covered are structured in the following sections: Section 2 addresses generally conceptual and general approach issues, in particular, definition of vertical agreements and approach to hardcore restrictions; Section 3 deals with dual distribution, Section 4 addresses parity clauses, Section 5 considers active and passive sales restrictions and Section 6 covers online restrictions focusing on dual pricing, restrictions on the use of marketplaces and online price comparison tools.