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Motor vehicle distribution and after-sales service

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Motor vehicle distribution and after-sales service

This regulation covers vertical agreements relating to the distribution or the provision of repair and maintenance services of motor vehicles to continue to ensure the necessary protection of competition on the European Union (EU) motor vehicle aftermarkets following the expiration of Regulation No 1400/2002.

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.

SUMMARY

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 (EC) No 1400/2002, which expired on 31 May 2010, provided the motor vehicle sector with 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. Regulation 461/2010 replaces Regulation 1400/2002.

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

Regulation 461/2010 applies Regulation No 330/2010 to vertical agreements concerning the purchase, sale or resale of new motor vehicles. However, to give operators time to adapt to the general regime, those provisions of Regulation No 1400/2002 which relate to such agreements are extended until 31 May 2013.

Vertical agreements relating to the motor vehicle aftermarket

Regulation 461/2010 also applies Regulation 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 No 330/2010, and do not contain any of the following hardcore restrictions described in Regulation 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 Commission may decide that this regulation does not apply to vertical agreements that include specific restraints relating to that market.

Key terms used in the act

  • Vertical agreement: an agreement or concerted practice entered into between two 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.

References

Act

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation No 461/2010

1.6.2010 – 31.5.2023

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OJ L 129 of 28.5.2010

Last updated: 06.12.2010

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