Economic Principles and the Reform of the European Commission’s Approach to Vertical Agreements

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The authors outline five economic principles that should guide the European Commission’s revision of VBER and its Vertical Guidelines.

The European Commission published its evaluation results on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and accompanying Vertical Guidelines in September 2020. The Staff Working Document identifies several aspects of the rules governing vertical agreements as warranting greater clarity and/or more specific guidance.

In this article, the authors first consider the key messages in the Working Document. They then outline five economic principles that should guide the Commission’s revision of VBER and its Vertical Guidelines. The authors illustrate the application of these economic principles by considering the economic analysis of two specific types of vertical agreements: resale price maintenance (RPM) and most-favoured nation (MFN) clauses.

This article was originally published by Competition Policy International’s Antitrust Chronicle in December 2020.


The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors, who are responsible for the content, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.

Economic Principles and the Reform of the European Commission’s Approach to Vertical Agreements

Author

  • London

Vikram Kumar

Principal