Commission publishes consultation on VBER policy options

On 18 December 2020 the Commission published a further consultation on its proposals for a revised vertical agreements block exemption Regulation (VBER) and guidelines.  The Commission’s steps to date, and conclusions of its evaluation phase, are set out in our HSF Notes post from 17 September 2020. In essence the evaluation concluded that the current rules … Read more


On 9 December 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) annulled a European Commission decision accepting legally binding commitments offered by Paramount aimed at addressing a Commission investigation into cross-border pay-TV in the EU (the “Paramount Commitment Decision”). The CJEU also set aside a General Court judgment that had rejected an action for … Read more

The European Commission fines Cephalon and Teva €60.5 million in its fourth “pay-for-delay” decision

The European Commission (EC) has fined Teva and Cephalon a total of €60.5 million for concluding a “pay-for-delay” settlement agreement that delayed the market entry of a generic version of modafinil (a drug used for sleep disorders). “Pay-for-delay” agreements, whereby a generic company agrees to restrict or delay its independent entry into the market in … Read more

EU Commission requests feedback on Inception Impact Assessment for VBER update

On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) published an Inception Impact Assessment (‘IIA’) for its proposed update of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) and Vertical Guidelines. It requests feedback on the IIA by 20 November 2020. This is separate to a public consultation on the policy options, which it will launch later this … Read more

EU Commission publishes findings on VBER evaluation

On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) published a Staff Working Document in which it summarised the conclusions of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) and the accompanying Vertical Guidelines. The evaluation – launched on 3 October 2018 – was aimed at gathering views from stakeholders to determine whether the current … Read more

The European Green Deal and its implications for regulation, State aid and competition policy: Do the rules need to change?

This blog post is an adapted version of a briefing paper prepared with the economics consultancy, Oxera, in connection with our joint webinar event on the European Green Deal and its implications for regulation, State aid and competition policy.  The webinar, which will feature speakers from the European Commission, the judiciary and private practice, will … Read more

CMA win in competition director disqualification case

In the first application by the CMA for a competition disqualification order to reach the courts, the High Court, on 3 July 2020, imposed a competition director disqualification order for a period of 7 years on Mr Michael Martin, a former director of Gary Berryman Estate Agents, and ordered an interim payment of costs of … Read more