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Vertical Agreements & Restriction Of Competition By Object: What’s New In Europe?

 |  July 14, 2023

By: Jacques Buhart, Stéphane Dionnet & Frédéric Pradelles (Antitrust Alert)

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a preliminary ruling on June 29, 2023, in the case of Super Bock Bebidas vs. Autoridade da Concorrência (C-211/22), based on questions referred by the Lisbon Court of Appeal (Tribunal da Relaçao de Lisboa). While the recent judgment primarily applies well-established principles of EU competition law found in existing case law, it represents a significant advancement by incorporating these principles into the context of vertical price-fixing agreements.

Super Bock Bebidas, a renowned Portuguese company specializing in bottled waters and beers, entered into exclusive distribution agreements with independent distributors for the distribution of their beverages in hotels, restaurants, and cafés. These distributors sell Super Bock products throughout most of Portugal. In July 2019, Super Bock Bebidas S.A., one of its board members, and a company director were fined EUR 24 million by the Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC), the Portuguese Competition Authority, for engaging in minimum resale price maintenance and other resale conditions…