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The new edition of EU Distribution Law, published five years after the previous edition, is concerned with the competition rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements and behaviour affecting trade between Member States, and the special rules which protect commercial agents. Under EU law such anti-competitive agreements may be void and substantial fines imposed and liability in damages may result.
To minimise the risk companies and their advisers must understand the new rules and exemptions covering their distribution and supply agreements. This is particularly the case because new legislation which came into effect in 2004 has removed the possibility for companies to seek approval of their distribution systems from the European Commission, instead requiring them to rely on their own assessment. The new rules have also greatly increased the involvement of national courts and competition authorities in the enforcement of EU competition rules.
These procedural reforms have had a significant impact upon distribution and agency agreements. Furthermore, the enlargement of the EU in 2004 from 15 to 25 Member States, and the ever-expanding case law of the European courts, means that EU law has an ever wider and more pronounced impact.
This comprehensively rewritten and updated new edition of a well-known text combines expert commentary with clear, practical advice on the law affecting distribution agreements, exclusive supply, purchase agreements, franchising, agency and selective distribution.