Breakfast at Stefany's: Review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation: What are the rules which are not functioning well, or as well as they could?

Date : 21/10/2020

Time : 10h00 > 11h00


Breakfast at Stefany's by DALDEWOLF - Season 2020-2021 - header

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast at Stefany's: Webinar

Topic: Review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation: What are the rules which are not functioning well, or as well as they could?

Speakers: Pierre GOFFINET & Johannes HOLZWARTH (Policy Officer at DG Competition (European Commission))

Breakfast at Stefany's S05E01

Introduction:

On 8 September 2020, the European Commission published a Staff Working Document that summarises the findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”), together with the Vertical Guidelines.

The aim of the evaluation was to gather evidence on the functioning of the VBER, together with the Vertical Guidelines, in order to decide whether it should lapse, be renewed in its current form, or be revised. Based on the findings of the evaluation, the Commission will launch an impact assessment to look into the policy options for a revision of the rules.

The evaluation has shown that the VBER and the Vertical Guidelines are useful tools that significantly facilitate the self-assessment by businesses of their vertical agreements. However, the evaluation has also shown that the market has significantly changed and this evaluation has identified a number of issues that need to be addressed.

During this webinar, we will focus on the rules of the VBER which are not functioning well because they are not well adapted to the market developments that took place since the adoption of the rules, notably the growth of online sales and of new market players such as online platforms. This disfunction relates to online sales and advertising restrictions, dual pricing, the distinction between active and passive sales, selective distribution agreements, the principle of equivalence, restrictions on the use of online marketplaces and price comparison websites, agency agreements, retail parity clauses and dual distribution.

We will also focus on the rules of the VBER which are not functioning well because of reasons not necessarily linked to market developments. This disfunction relates to issues regarding some of the hardcore restrictions (e.g. resale price maintenance), excluded restrictions (e.g. non-compete clauses), certain distribution models (e.g. franchising) or the combination of different distribution models (e.g. the use of exclusive and selective distribution by the same supplier).

Johannes Holzwarth, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG Competition), who participated in the drafting of the Staff Working Document, will present the evaluation process and the main issues that need to be addressed. Pierre Goffinet, competition & regulatory lawyer at DALDEWOLF, will give an overview of the current rules applicable as well as a critical analysis of these issues.

 

Johannes Holzwarth, who graduated from the University of Chicago and is a former German lawyer, is a Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG Competition). He participated in the drafting of the Staff Working Document that summarises the findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and the Vertical Guidelines.

 

Speaker's biography:

Johannes HOLZWARTH, who graduated from the University of Chicago and is a former German lawyer, is a Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG Competition). He participated in the drafting of the Staff Working Document that summarises the findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and the Vertical Guidelines.

Pierre GOFFINET is a competition and regulatory lawyer at DALDEWOLF. He is a former researcher in economics and a former prosecutor at the Belgian Competition Authority. Pierre has over 15 years of experience and has built a genuine combined expertise in economics and competition law, both at national and EU levels. 

 

 

 


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