Proposal for future EC Regulation of Distribution

The European Commission is currently calling for comments on its proposal for a revised Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation. The current Block Exemption Regulation is due to expire in May 2010. 

The Commission's proposal (if adopted) will (among other things):

  1. give suppliers and retailers greater clarity on the restrictions that may be placed on sales over the internet (but less freedom to do so)
  2. give suppliers more scope to engage in resale price maintenance in certain circumstances
  3. give retailers and suppliers some guidance on the assessment of certain common retail practices such as slotting allowances, listing fees and category management.

Given the impact that the proposal will have on the distribution sector and on business in general, all interested parties are invited to provide their comments to the Commission by 28 September 2009.

Attached are the Commission's proposed amendments to the Block Exemption and the relevant guidelines.