Towards the end of 2020: an open public consultation and targeted consultation with consumer organizations to obtain feedback on the proposed policy options and their ability to address problems in maintaining resale prices (“PMRs”) is considered a key restriction under the VBER, so that it is illegal, unless the party that employs them can prove that it is sufficiently effective. As a result, stakeholders confirmed that the use of PMRs has declined over the past decade, but minimum prices for resale prices and minimum prices are still used to some extent. The consultation showed that the guidelines are not sufficiently clear in the rules applicable to MPRs. Because it is a mechanism to prevent price competition at the internal brand level, the RPM can be used both to strengthen brands and promote competition and to support anti-competitive practices. The theoretical and empirical literature as well as the Commission`s consultation also indicate that PMRs can have both pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects. 2021: draft revised rules for public consultation The consultation strategy document for the evaluation of the vertical category exemption regulation. On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a report on the evaluation phase of its review of the Vertical Class Exemption Regulation (VBER). The VBER, introduced in 2010 and due to expire in 2022, provides for an automatic derogation from certain agreements of the EU rule against anti-competitive agreements. The Commission`s review is designed to determine whether the provisions of the VBER (and the accompanying vertical guidelines) are still relevant and should be maintained and, if so, whether and how they need to be improved.

[1] The result of the evaluation phase is that the Commission continues to judge the VBER as a useful tool that should be retained. However, after identifying a number of problems, the Commission is opening the second phase of its review, an impact assessment to determine how the VBER could be revised to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world. The public consultation was launched on 4.02.2019. The deadline for stakeholders to complete the questionnaire expired on 27.05.2019. The VBER and its related guidelines exempt certain vertical agreements from the prohibition under Article 101, paragraph 1 of the TFUE and contain certain “core” restrictions against certain vertical behaviours. Article 101, paragraph 1, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (`treaty`) prohibits agreements between companies that limit competition, unless they contribute to the improvement of the production or distribution of goods or services or to the promotion of technical or economic progress, while consumers are in compliance with Article 1.