In 2022 both the EU and the UK overhauled their regimes governing vertical agreements following the expiry of Regulation 330/2010, which had block exempted many vertical agreements from both Article 101(1) TFEU in the EU and from the Chapter I prohibition set out in the Competition Act 1998 in the UK. This paper examines the new EU and UK vertical systems, emphasizing the core changes they have introduced, and considers whether they meet the objectives of the respective reform and review processes and whether, despite significant improvements, some opportunities for positive development of the regimes may have been missed. It notes that although post-Brexit there was scope for the UK to depart from the approach adopted in the EU, the path taken has essentially been one of consistency, albeit with divergences which reflect the different enforcement experiences of the EU and UK competition authorities.
By Alison Jones & Karen Slaney
In 2022 both the EU and the UK overhauled their regimes governing vertical agreements. The reform processes were provoked by the expiry on May 31, 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 (the “Retained VBER”) as part of UK law following Brexit, from the Chapter I prohibition set out in the Competition Act 1998 (“CA98”) in the UK.
This paper examines the new EU and UK vertical syst...