On 7 February 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down its ruling in response to a preliminary reference from a Spanish court that had questioned the meaning of the phrase “premises and land from which the buyer has operated during the contract period” in Article 5(b) of the 1999 Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (the “1999 VABER”) in the context of a franchise agreement. Article 5 of the 1999 VABER identified a number of obligations that, while not hardcore restrictions of competition, would fall outside the scope of the block exemption even where the market share threshold set by the Regulation was not exceeded. More particularly, Article 5(b) provided that the block exemption would not apply to any direct or indirect obligation preventing the
The EU Court of Justice hands down preliminary ruling on post-term non-compete obligation in franchise agreement (La Retoucherie)
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