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UK to establish new exemptions from competition law

‌‌UK to establish new exemptions from Competition Law

Rules relating to exemptions from Competition Law will expire on 31st May. The Government is  proposing a revision which would give more encouragement to vertical agreements between parts of the supply chain.

‌‌Better incentive to competition

It argues the new arrangements would remove current retail parity obligations, which requires that products or services cannot be offered on better terms through other indirect sales channels – ie. through intermediaries or online platforms.  It is argued this change would give a better incentive to competition.

The revision would also look to create a more level playing field for “bricks and mortar” retailers by expanding the exemptions to cover agreements that treat online and offline sales differently.

Flexibility over distribution systems

Finally, the revision would allow businesses more flexibility over their distribution systems by, for example, giving businesses the right to combine distribution rights, allowing multiple retailers of a product in one geographical area whilst at the same time having an exclusive arrangement with a retailer in a different geographical area.

A technical consultation is currently open until the middle of March to determine the legal construction of the exemption.  Any member wishing to comment should contact as soon as possible.