ARTICLE : MOTOR VEHICLE DISTRIBUTION - EXEMPTION REGULATION (N° 1400/2002) - COMPETITIVE SITUATION

Towards a return to the general regime on vertical restraints for automobile distribution?

In its evaluation report published at the end of May 2008, the Commission found that the motor vehicle block exemption regulation (N° 1400/2002) was no longer adapted to the competitive situation of automobile distribution at present or for the years to come. Although the content of the report does not in any way preempt the Commission’s final decision, it is a good indication that it is heading towards the renouncement of the motor vehicle regulation and the integration of the sector within one general block exemption regulation in the future. Faced with increasing conservatism from the sector, brought on by the publication of the report, one can only hope that the Commission will persevere with the reform rather than opting to stand still while the world changes around it.

1. Vertical agreements entered into for the distribution of goods or services are currently governed by two separate European block exemption regulations depending on the nature of the goods or services in question. The general “vertical restraints” regulation, No 2790/1999 , applies to, “agreements or concerted practices entered into between two or more undertakings each of which operates, for the purposes of the agreement, at a different level of the production or distribution chain, and relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain goods or services” allowing those agreements to benefit under certain conditions from an exemption where they contain restrictions of competition caught by Article 81(1) EC. Motor vehicle BER 1400/2002 applies

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  • Vogel & Vogel (Paris)

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Joseph Vogel, Towards a return to the general regime on vertical restraints for automobile distribution?, December 2008, Concurrences Review N° 4-2008, Art. N° 22147, pp. 64-69

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