Revision of CCPC Verticals Declaration
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the statutory body with responsibilities in the fields of competition and consumer protection law. The mission of the CCPC is to use our knowledge, skills and statutory powers to promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. Our vision is for open and competitive markets where consumers are protected and businesses actively compete.
Vertical agreements are agreements between two or more undertakings, operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain, relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain goods or services.
The European Commission’s Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/720) (VBER) exempts from the prohibition in Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, vertical agreements between companies that are active at different levels of the production or distribution chain, subject to conditions. The VBER was revised in June 2022.
The CCPC’s Declaration in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices (Declaration) provides for a similar exemption for certain vertical agreements from the prohibition contained in section 4 of the Competition Act 2002, as amended (2002 Act). The Declaration originally entered into force on 1 December 2010 and the current Declaration will expire on 1 March 2023.
A Notice in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices (Notice), originally published in 2010 by the Competition Authority, provides informal and practical guidance on how stakeholders can assess their vertical agreements so as to ensure that they can avail of the exemption provided for by the Declaration.
In light of the revisions to the VBER, it is necessary to update the CCPC’s Declaration and Notice to ensure consistency between the regime applicable to vertical agreements at European Union level and under the 2002 Act.
Below are some of the main changes proposed by the CCPC to the Declaration.
- Article 1
The following definitions have been added:
- Active sales
- Exclusive distribution system
- Online intermediation services
- Passive sales
- Connected undertaking
- Article 3
- The updated Declaration does not apply to information exchanges that are either not directly related to the implementation of the vertical agreement or not necessary to improve the production or distribution of the contract goods or services.
- The updated Declaration does not apply to online intermediation services (platforms) where the provider of online intermediation services competes with sellers on its platform.
- Article 4
- References to exclusive distribution and selective distribution systems.
- Lists the conditions whereby exclusive distribution and selective distribution systems are covered by the Declaration.
- References when online restrictions are covered.
- Article 5
- References to restrictions imposed on buyers of online intermediation services
- Article 6
- Provides for the CCPC to withdraw the exemption of the Declaration where a vertical agreement has effects which are incompatible with the Act.
The CCPC has prepared a draft revised Declaration and revised Notice which take the revisions to the VBER into account and as part of the consultation process, is inviting submissions from stakeholders and other interested parties.
The consultation process is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and commentary on the proposed updates to the Declaration and Notice respectively. Stakeholder submissions are a vital source of information and views, helping to inform the CCPC’s revision of this important instrument.
In responding to this consultation, please identify the relevant section and paragraph number before providing comments and feedback.
Confidentiality of submissions: Please note that the CCPC may publish the submissions that it receives in response to this consultation on its website. If you consider that any material should be redacted from the public version of your submission, please ensure that such material is clearly indicated in your submission.
Submissions will only be accepted when submitted via email to email@example.com
More information on each policy is available by clicking the links listed below:
|Documents overview||Consultation dates||Status|
|Revised Declaration in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices||Monday 30 January 2023 – Friday 10 February 2023||Closed|
|Notice in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices||Monday 30 January 2023 – Friday 10 February 2023||Closed|
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For consultation queries contact: email@example.com