Executive Summary: Earlier this year, the new EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation [1] (“New Block Exemption Regulation”) and the accompanying new Vertical Restraints Guidelines [2] (“New Guidelines”) entered into force. Their scope of application covers all agreements between economic operators at different economic levels: these are so-called “vertical” agreements entered into between a supplier and a distributor which have an economic effect within the European Union (suppliers from outside of the EU who export goods to distributors within the EU fall within the scope of the New Block Exemption Regulation). The new rules have generated considerable discussion with regard to their application. Although the principles of the New Block Exemption Regulation are simple and

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