Parts of the EU competition rules has been revised, a move the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise welcomes. “All clarifications are indeed welcome,” says Stefan Sagebro, competition and state aid expert.
Parts of the EU competition rules were revised on 1 June. This applies to agreements and collaborations between businesses in different sections of the supply chain, such as manufacturers and retailers, wholesalers and distributors.
According to the EU competition rules, agreements and collaborations must not result in competition being restricted in such a way that harms consumers. It is up to each business to assess and ensure that its own agreements and collaborations meet these regulatory requirements. This is not an entirely straightforward task. The existing group exemption within the EU competition framework – the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) – helps businesses in this respect as it describes various conditions and situations in which businesses can be certain that they do not violate the regulations.
The competition rules ensure that all businesses compete according to the same rules. The regulations must be updated according to how markets function today; a lot has changed in terms of distribution and online sales in particular. At the same time, the regulations are complicated and require many businesses to constantly assess their own actions in relation to the regulations. All clarifications are therefore extremely welcome. Swedish Enterprise therefore welcomes the Commission’s revisions, and that corresponding Swedish legislation will be updated soon so that the regulations in Sweden and the EU are identical.
The revisions focus mainly on the four parts of VBER. The first two limit VBER, while the other two open up VBER somewhat.