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Motor vehicles - block exemption from EU competition law

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Motor vehicles - block exemption from EU competition law

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 - application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE REGULATION DO?

Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) exempts vertical agreements* which confer sufficient benefits to outweigh the anti-competitive effects. Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 grants the motor vehicle sector a specific block exemption for vertical agreements for the purchase, sale or resale of new motor vehicles and vertical agreements for the provision of repair and maintenance services for such vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts.

Vertical agreements relating to the purchase, sale or resale of new motor vehicles

Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 applies Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 to vertical agreements concerning the purchase, sale or resale of new motor vehicles.

Vertical agreements relating to the motor vehicle aftermarket

Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 also applies Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 to vertical agreements concerning conditions for the purchase, sale or resale of spare parts for motor vehicles, or for the provision of repair and maintenance services for motor vehicles, so long as these fulfil the requirements for exemption under Regulation (EU) No 330/2010, and do not contain any of the following hardcore restrictions described in Regulation (EU) No 461/2010:

  • restriction of the sales of spare parts for motor vehicles by members of a selective distribution system;
  • restriction, agreed between a supplier of spare parts or repair equipment and a manufacturer of motor vehicles, of the supplier’s ability to sell those goods to authorised or independent distributors, repairers or end users;
  • restriction, agreed between a manufacturer of motor vehicles which uses components for the initial assembly of motor vehicles and the supplier of such components, of the supplier’s ability to visibly place its trade mark or logo on the components supplied.

In accordance with Regulation No 19/65/EEC, when parallel networks of similar vertical restraints cover more than 50 % of a relevant market, the European Commission may decide that this regulation does not apply to vertical agreements that include specific restraints relating to that market.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It entered into force on 1 June 2010 and will remain valid until 31 May 2023.

BACKGROUND

Competition: Motor vehicles - legislation

KEY TERM

* Vertical agreement: an agreement or concerted practice entered into between 2 or more undertakings each of which operates at a different level of the production or distribution chain, and relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain goods or services.

ACT

Commission Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 of 27 May 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector (OJ L 129, 28.5.2010, pp. 52–57)

RELATED ACTS

Regulation No 19/65/EEC of 2 March of the Council on application of Article 85 (3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices (OJ 36, 6.3.1965, pp. 533–535). Successive amendments to Regulation No 19/65/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 of 20 April 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices (OJ L 102, 23.4.2010, pp. 1–7)

last update 04.01.2016

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