Gianluca Faella

Adelante con juicio: limits and missed opportunities of the new block exemption regulation on vertical restraints

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: anticompetitive agreements, vertical restraints, resale price maintenance, territorial and customer restrictions, K21, L42 .

Regulation 330/2010 of April 20, 2010, and the Guidelines on vertical restraints confirmed the essential features of the economic-based approach to vertical agreements and removed some inconsistencies of the previous EU rules. However, the outcome of the revision of the rules on vertical restraints is not entirely satisfactory. The impact of the introduction of the double market share threshold seems to be ambiguous. The more open approach to the individual assessment of hardcore restrictions does not seem to ensure a real flexibility for firms. Finally, the application of established principles of EU competition law to e-commerce resulted in an alteration of the traditional balance between protecting retailers and preserving arbitrage channels. Market share thresholds specifically applicable to hardcore restrictions, together with a strengthening and a more effective use of withdrawal decisions and regulations declaring the non-application of the block exemption in cases of parallel networks of similar vertical restraints, would have ensured greater flexibility for firms without significant market power.

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