Thursday, 22nd​ September h. 11.30 – 12.45 (CET)

Parallel session

Distribution and the digital world: new challenges to the vertical / horizontal divide

Managed by Freshfields

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The sharp increase of internet sales and the continuous development of digital technologies, the rise of new distribution models, the growing role of platform and marketplaces: all of these developments create new challenges as to the antitrust framework applicable to vertical agreements, where their (alleged) horizontal dimension and potential impact on competition increasingly draw the interest of competition agencies. Specific arrangements and information flows applicable in the context of dual distribution, MFN or parity clauses, and marketplaces restrictions are just some instances of the challenges raised by this phenomenon, on which the new EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines have only partially provided (some) clarity. We will discuss the practical impact of these rules in an ever-evolving context.