CCPC extends verticals declaration

October 30, 2020

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today extended the validity of its declaration in respect of vertical agreements and concerted practices (the “declaration”) until 1 December 2022. The declaration came into effect on 1 December 2010 and would have expired on 1 December 2020.

In general, the term “vertical agreement” means an agreement between two or more firms, operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain and further relates to the conditions under which these firms buy or sell certain goods or services. Vertical agreements which restrict competition are prohibited under Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002, as amended (“the 2002 Act”).  The 2002 Act permits the CCPC to declare in writing that a specified category of vertical agreements, decisions or concerted practices are not prohibited by Irish competition law.

The CCPC’s declaration closely resembles the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the “VBER”), which is currently being reviewed by the European Commission, in advance of its expiry in May 2022. The CCPC will consider any potential changes to the VBER as a result of the European Commission review and we will subsequently consult with stakeholders on potential revisions to the declaration.

The CCPC’s decision to extend this declaration facilitates this review process, whilst ensuring legal clarity and certainty in respect of vertical agreements and concerted practices in this transition period.

The CCPC’s associated Notice in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices remains unchanged. Further guidance on the declaration can be found here.

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