This book examines the structure of the rule on restrictive competition agreements with respect to vertical brand prices and territorial restrictions, and analyses, compares and evaluates their treatment in US antitrust and EU competition law. It examines the concept of “agreement” as a threshold issue of the restrictive competition agreement regime, the structure and centre of gravity of antitrust/competitive analysis, the treatment of vertical restrictions on prices and trademark areas and their place in the examination of cartel and cartel law. The treatment of vertical restrictions within trademarks is one of the most controversial topics of current competition law and current competition policy, and there are considerable differences between the two major global regimes in this regard. In the United States, the setting of resale prices deserves an analysis of the effects, while it is almost completely prohibited in the EU. Similarly, territorial protection is treated laxly in the United States, while in the EU, absolute territorial protection is strictly prohibited due to the constraint of the internal market. With an innovative approach to legal analysis, this book will be of interest to scientists and scientists in economic and commercial law, international law and comparative law. Following the 2019 public consultation, the VBER and vertical guidelines in general found that legal certainty in the area of sales law (and other vertical agreements) is being strengthened and that competition law compliance costs are being reduced. However, the 2019 consultation also highlighted the need to update current rules and guidelines to address trade policy trends that did not exist at the time of the current regime`s adoption in 2010, including the growing importance of digital distribution models, in particular: the current VBER, which expires on 31 May 2022. The VBER and vertical guidelines are part of the EU regulatory framework that governs so-called “vertical” agreements: they are concluded by companies at different levels of the supply chain and allow the parties to ensure a “path to the market” for goods and services. Vertical agreements are the cornerstone of EU marketing and procurement agreements and are one of the most common trade agreements that must comply with EU competition rules. As a result, the VBER and vertical guidelines have played a decisive role in making available to companies an automatic system for clearing vertical agreements, provided they fall below market share thresholds and meet other VBER conditions and guidelines or vertical guidelines. Conclusion The Commission`s assessment of the VBER and the vertical guidelines strongly shows that the Commission will not allow the current regime to fall, as it has largely found that it has made a significant contribution to the legal and security of business in the area of distribution law and other vertical agreements. However, the Commission`s assessment shows that the current VB and vertical guidelines do not adequately address important digital developments such as the rapid growth of online sales and the growing importance of online market platforms as a mode of distribution.
The Commission`s impact analysis questionnaire and the public consultation questionnaire (probably by the end of 2020) will provide an increasingly clear indication of the direction of the Commission`s trip, but it is expected that the above key issues will remain essential to ensure that the regime remains appropriate.