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Dual Distribution in the Digital Age: The European Commission Drafts New Competition Rules, (CPI Antitrust Chronicle)

Dual distribution has flourished with the rise of e-commerce and is a key focus of current reforms to vertical agreement rules by the European Commission, which published a draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and draft revised Guidelines on Vertical Restraints on July 9, 2021. Public consultation feedback was largely critical of the draft new vertical rules with respect to dual distribution. In particular, as the contemplated regime for information exchange in dual distribution was perceived as unreasonable, impractical, and adding legal uncertainty as compared to the current regime, the European Commission recently returned to the drawing board to address these issues. In this article, Charlotte Breuvart and Henry de la Barre compare and discuss the main differences between today's rules and the European Commission's envisaged new rules, which are expected to enter into force on June 1, 2022.

Our thanks to Cecelia Kye for her review.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2022 issue of CPI Antitrust Chronicle. © Competition Policy International 2022. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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