Dear Readers,

This edition of the Chronicle looks at recent developments in the antitrust analysis of vertical agreements in jurisdictions around the world. It is accepted in most jurisdictions that  vertical agreements (i.e., agreements between parties that occupy different places in the supply chain) are less likely to raise antitrust concerns than horizontal agreements. Nonetheless, they still occasionally raise concerns, and tend to be analyzed under specific rules and regulations adopted under the underlying competition rules in each jurisdiction. Recent developments in online platform markets have rendered even more complex the application of well=honed principles concerning vertical agreements, which tend to raise novel concerns.

Alison Jones & Karen Slaney open by looking at the implications of new vertical systems in the EU and the UK. In 2022, both the EU and the UK reviewed and overhauled their regimes governing vertical agreements. The reform processes were provoked by the expiry in May 2022 of Regulation 330/2010, which block exempted many vertical agreements from Article 101(1) TFEU in the EU and, through the retention of the EU block exemption as part of UK law following Brexit, from the Chapter I prohibition set out in the Competition Act 1998 in the UK. The paper also highlights the post-2022 divergences between the EU and UK rules, and the implications they raise for those distributing their goods or services in both the EU and the UK. 

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