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Competition Policy

Additional public consultation on proposed guidance relating to information exchange in the context of dual distribution, intended to be added to the Vertical Guidelines

Policy field

Competition: Antitrust


Target group

All citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation.


Period of consultation

From 04.02.2022 to 18.02.2022


Objective of the consultation

The present consultation is a targeted additional consultation, in the context of the ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and Vertical Guidelines. It concerns proposed guidance relating to information exchange in the context of dual distribution.

The feedback from the consultation on a draft revised VBER and draft revised Vertical Guidelines, that took place between July and September 2021, indicated that there is a need for more guidance on the types of information that can be exchanged between a supplier and a buyer in a dual distribution relationship, and that it would be helpful if such guidance was provided in the Vertical Guidelines.

In view of this feedback, the Commission gathered more evidence on this topic and commissioned an expert report (published here) to inform the drafting of this additional guidance. This additional guidance would be included the Vertical Guidelines. As such, the guidance that is the subject of the consultation is intended to form part of the new rules on vertical agreements, planned to enter into force when the current rules expire on 31 May 2022. Further consultations are not planned.

On 9 July 2021, the Commission published drafts of the revised VBER and Vertical Guidelines for stakeholder comments. Through the consultation, the Commission aimed to gather stakeholder feedback on the changes it proposed to address the issues identified in the evaluation of the current rules. The evaluation showed that the VBER and the Vertical Guidelines are useful tools that facilitate the assessment of vertical agreements and help reduce compliance costs for businesses. It also showed room for improvement, notably the need to adapt both texts to new market developments. Since the launch of the impact assessment in October 2020, the Commission has gathered further evidence on possible changes of the current rules, which was taken into account when preparing the draft revised VBER and Vertical Guidelines published for stakeholder comments.


How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on this webpage. Submissions that are clearly marked "confidential" will be treated as such and not published. If you want your contribution to be published, please also provide a non-confidential version of your reply.

We would appreciate receiving submissions electronically as attachments to emails in English, French or German. These attachments should, furthermore, be submitted in “.docx” or “.pdf” format, otherwise they will not be published.

It is important to read the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Please note that the replies received after the deadline will not be take account.


View the consultation document


Consultation of July 2021 on draft revised rules


Contributions to the consultation of July 2021

The contributions submitted in the context of the public consultation that took place between 09.07.2021 and 17.09.2021, as well as a summary of these contributions, are published here.


Contact details

Responsible service:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A1
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT.6179

e-mailCOMP-VBER-REVIEWatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (COMP-VBER-REVIEW[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition, Unit A1
Antitrust Registry
1049 Bruxelles / Brussel
Belgique / België
Ref.: HT.6179