Informations and abstract
Keywords: antitrust, vertical agreements, block exemption regulation, motor vehicle sector
On May 28, 2008, the European Commission published a report on the impact of Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002, concerning the block exemption of agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector. The Commission's investigation showed that Reg. (Ec) No 1400/2002 could have (i) imposed unnecessary limits on the contractual freedom of firms, (ii) caused an increase in distribution costs, and (iii) hindered the development of innovative distribution models and the entry of new dealers into the authorized networks. Some provisions of Reg. (Ec) No 1400/2002 seem to have intensified competition in the motor vehicle sector. However, the application of general principles set forth in Articles 81 and 82 Ec and Regulation (Ec) No 2790/1999, concerning the block exemption of vertical agreements and concerted practices, could have reached similar results. The Commission report reveals the failure of the strict and detailed sector-specific regulation, which should be replaced by a more flexible and effects-based approach, in line with Regulation (Ec) No. 2790/1999.