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Change of rules for distribution relationships

  • Czech Republic
  • Competition, EU and Trade

30-03-2022

With effect from 1 June 2022, there will be a fundamental revision of the EU Block Exemption Regulation and the rules for assessing vertical agreements from the point of view of competition law. The new rules will be fully reflected in the application practice of the Czech and Slovak competition authorities. The change will primarily affect distribution relations, which will be appropriate to re-adjust so that their business potential is fulfilled within the limits of competition law. The new regulation, which provides for exceptions to otherwise prohibited agreements, does not only change the rules for online trading. At the same time, the amendment is most often mentioned in this context and introduces some completely new elements (e.g. regulation of online brokers, more precise definition in connection with online comparators, vertically integrated online platforms). It changes, among others, the access to non-compete clauses, MFN arrangements (a party's obligation to offer the other party the same or even better terms than others), dual distribution (the manufacturer sells its goods itself as well as through distributors), the definition of an exclusive distributor and/or short-term setting of final prices for customers.