The European Commission's New Vertical Block Exemption Regulation

On 1 June 2022, the European Commission’s new Block Exemption Regulation for vertical agreements and the related Guidelines on Vertical Restraints entered into force.

This article describes the main changes and clarifications resulting from the European Commission’s recently completed evaluation of the rules governing vertical agreements. The article is aimed at practitioners with prior knowledge of the rules on vertical agreements.

The main changes and clarifications concern:

  1. Parallel distribution
  2. Parity obligations
  3. More flexible distribution systems
  4. A new definition of suppliers of online intermediation services
  5. Modernised rules on restrictions of online sales
  6. Tacitly renewable non-compete obligations and new guidance on:
  7. Agency agreements
  8. Resale price maintenance
  9. Sustainability objectives