"Vertical Agreements: New Competition Rules for the Next Decade"*I. Introduction On 20 April 2010 the Commission adopted a new Block Exemption Regulation applicable to vertical agreements (hereinafter ‘the Regulation'). At the same time it adopted the contents of accompanying Guidelines on vertical restraints (‘the Guidelines'), which were subsequently formally adopted in all official languages of the Union by Vice-President Almunia on behalf of the Commission on 10 May 2010. Both of these instruments will be applicable from 1 June 2010. The competition rules embodied in these instruments are particularly important given the pervasiveness of vertical agreements. Vertical agreements are agreements between firms operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain for

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