The European Commission drafts new competition rules for Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and guidelines for vertical restraints scheduled to take effect in June 2022

I. The context The European Commission (“EC”) is currently revising the rules governing vertical agreements under EU competition law, which will expire on May 31, 2022. In this respect, on July 9, 2021, the EC published its long-awaited draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft VBER”) and draft revised Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Draft VGL”). Initial public consultation on the suggested new rules closed on September 17, 2021. The EC is now finalizing these drafts, and the revision process is nearing completion. If the new rules are adopted according to the planned timetable, they would take effect on June 1, 2022, with a transitional period until May 31, 2023 to adapt vertical agreements already in place at the time of adopting the rules. The new rules are

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