The current VBER expires on May 31, 2022. The RBBs and vertical guidelines are part of the EU legal framework, which governs so-called «vertical» agreements: these are concluded by companies at different levels of the supply chain and allow the parties to ensure a «path to the market» for goods and services. Vertical agreements are the cornerstone of EU distribution and purchasing agreements and are one of the most common trade agreements that must comply with EU competition law. Consequently, the BERBs and the vertical guidelines have been instrumental in making available to undertakings an automatic anti-cartel unblocking system for vertical agreements, provided that they are within the market share thresholds and meet the other conditions and guidelines laid down by the VBER or the vertical guidelines respectively. This book examines the structure of the restrictive agreement rule with respect to vertical restraints of prices and intra-brand zones and analyses, compares and assesses their treatment under US anti-competitive bidding and competition law. It examines the concept of «agreement» as a threshold issue of the restrictive agreements rule, the structure and focus of cartel analysis, the treatment of intra-brand price and territory vertical restraints and their position in the antitrust/competition law test. The treatment of intra-brand vertical restraints is one of the most controversial topics in contemporary competition law and competition policy and, in this regard, there are considerable differences between the two main global regimes. In the United States, the system of fixed prices for resale deserves an impact assessment, whereas it is almost completely banned in the EU. Similarly, territorial protection is treated laxly in the US, while in the EU absolute territorial protection is strictly prohibited due to the requirements of the internal market.
With a new approach to legal analysis, this book will be of interest to scientists and scientists of economic and commercial law, international law and comparative law. Following the 2019 public consultation, it was generally found that the VBER and the vertical guidelines increase legal certainty in the field of distribution (and other vertical agreements) and reduce the costs of compliance with competition law. However, the 2019 consultation also highlighted the need to update the current rules and guidelines in order to respond to business trends that did not exist at the time of the adoption of the current regime in 2010, including the growing importance of digital distribution models, including: conclusion The Commission`s assessment of BERVs and vertical guidelines strongly indicates: that the Commission will not authorise the expiry of the current scheme, as it was widely applicable. they have been found to have made an important contribution to legal and commercial certainty in the area of distribution law and other vertical agreements. However, the Commission`s assessment to date shows that the current VBER and vertical guidelines do not sufficiently take into account important digital developments, such as the rapid growth of online distribution and the growing importance of online marketplace platforms as a form of distribution. The Commission`s impact assessment questionnaire and public consultation (probably at the end of 2020) will increasingly indicate the Commission`s direction, but the above-mentioned key issues will remain key to ensuring that regulation fulfils its objective. . . .