Whilst not a sea of difference apart, the two regimes present notable distinctions for companies operating on both sides of the Channel to navigate.
Upon its expiry on 31 May 2022, the 2010 Vertical Block Exemption Regulation was replaced by the 2022 Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) in the EU and the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order (VABEO) in the UK. The European Commission (EC) issued its Vertical Guidelines at the same time whilst the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its VABEO guidance in July 2022. Both the EU VBER and the UK VABEO allowed a one-year transitional period for agreements concluded before 1 June 2022 to be brought in line with the new regimes.
With both regimes now applicable to “old” and “new” vertical agreements alike, this blog post provides an overview of the key differences between the EU VBER and the UK VABEO. It follows and updates our previous blog post which included an outline of the main similarities and differences between the draft UK VABEO and the draft EU VBER (as of September 2021).