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Vertical rules – adapted for an omnichannel future, but some uncertainty remains

The European Commission has today adopted new rules on the assessment of vertical agreements in distribution which will come into force from 1 June 2022. These rules provide a safe harbour from anti-trust rules for agreements between sup and their customers, for example, for the sale, purchase or resale of products.

Christel Delberghe, Director General of EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, commented:

“The European Commission has taken an important step by adapting the vertical block exemption rules to a digital environment. We welcome the Commission’s efforts to change the framework, but we are concerned that for SMEs the complexity will mean they remain reluctant to explore or pursue online sales. We, therefore, remain cautious about the degree to which the new rules leave room for interpretation and how they will be used in practice in a market where brands hold a very strong position.”

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"The Narratives"

EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…

The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.

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"The Narratives"