On 9 July 2021, following a comprehensive consultation process, the EU Commission (Commission) published its proposals for a revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (Draft VBER) and Draft Vertical Guidelines, due to replace the current regime which expires on 31 May 2022. The previous evaluation steps identified a number of areas where the current rules are potentially not functioning well, due to a lack of clarity, the existence of a number of gaps, but in particular because the current rules are not adapted to the strong growth of online sales and the emergence of new market players such as online platforms. We have set out below the key proposed changes in more detail. Of particular note are: The revised Article 4 Draft VBER setting out the hardcore restrictions, which is now more

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