Vertical restrictions, including resale price maintenance (RPM), have not generally been an EC enforcement priority over the last 10 years, but a series of rulings in July 2018 signalled a potential change in that trend. Although the EC considers RPM to be a “hardcore restriction” of competition, to which the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation does not apply, there have been relatively few decisions at the EU level lately. Prior to the EC’s July 2018 decisions in Denon & Marantz, Asus, Pioneer and Philips, the last time the EC imposed a fine for RPM was in the 2003 case of PO/Yamaha. The recent spate of cases therefore bears testimony to an increased interest by the EC in vertical restrictions, particularly in online markets. This shift in focus comes in the wake of the EC’s Digital

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