Dual distribution has flourished with the rise of e-commerce and is a key focus of current reforms to vertical agreement rules by the European Commission, which published a draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and draft revised Guidelines on Vertical Restraints on July 9, 2021. Public consultation feedback was largely critical of the draft new vertical rules with respect to dual distribution. In particular, as the contemplated regime for information exchange in dual distribution was perceived as unreasonable, impractical and adding legal uncertainty as compared to the current regime, the European Commission recently returned to the drawing board to address these issues. This article compares and discusses the main differences between today’s rules and the European Commission’s envisaged new rules, which are expected to enter into force on June 1, 2022.

By Charlotte Breuvart & Henry de la Barre[1]



The European Commission (“EC”) is currently revising the rules governing vertical agreements under EU competition law, which will expire on May 31, 2022. In this respect, on July 9, 2021, the EC published its long-awaited draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft VBER”) and draft revised Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Draft VGL”). Initial public consultation on the suggested new rules closed on September 17, 2021.

The EC is now finalizing these drafts, and the revision process is nearing completion. If


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