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Vertical agreements between operators at different levels of the distribution chain are more common than any other type of business agreement. In many cases, they restrict intra-brand competition in order to promote inter-brand competition, and antitrust authorities have to balance the benefits of these different forms of competition.
The approach followed under EU competition law in striking this balance has been transformed in recent years. The old, dirigiste policy has been largely swept away in favour of a more permissive approach. However, significant pitfalls and issues remain, and may assume particular commercial significance in the context of the enlargement of the EU with the increased potential for cross-border distribution outside normal channels.
This practical book provides a detailed analysis of the new regime including the block exemptions for vertical agreements and motor industry agreements, the Commission's Guidance and recent cases and decisions.