Under EU antitrust law, agreements between companies, decisions by associations of companies and concerted practices that may affect trade between Member States are prohibited. However, according to the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’), vertical agreements, i.e. agreements between companies operating at different levels of the production and distribution chain, are exempted from this prohibition. The reason behind this is that certain vertical agreements can have a positive impact on economic efficiency within a production or distribution chain due to better coordination between companies.
The Commission has also issued supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints. In particular, the guidelines discuss principles for the assessment of vertical agreements and concerted practices.
This is a challenge at the moment, because the online boom in trade is also changing the business environment of companies accordingly. Therefore, we have listed the most important innovations in detail for you.