Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vertical Restraints: New BER and Guidelines Adopted

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stephan Simon (DG Comp) explains Vertical Restraints: New BER and Guidelines Adopted.

ABSTRACT: The new antitrust framework for vertical agreements applies a double market share threshold (one to buyers, one to sellers) and provides improved clarity on online sales—but leaves unchanged the set of hard cores restrictions.

The BER and its accompanying Guidelines provide improved clarity on a number of important issues and constitute a sufficiently flexible framework to last until the BER expires in 2022. The most significant change concerns the application of the 30 per cent market share threshold, which now also applies to buyers, in order to take account of their increased market power in some markets, and should be particularly beneficial for small and medium sized suppliers and buyers.

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