EU Automotive Rules Under Review: Results of the Public Consultation

Latham & Watkins LLP

The European Commission (EC) has published the results of its public consultation on the review of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER). Key Points:

..The automotive sector is under surveillance as it has been affected by a number of EC-issued cartel decisions in the last few years. Distribution systems and agreements relating to automotive aftermarkets are also an increasingly high-risk area from an EU competition law compliance perspective. EC regulators are closely watching how companies collect and use data to lock in aftermarket revenues.

..The current EU motor vehicle sector competition law regime contains a complex patchwork of applicable block exemptions and guidelines. The revision of these rules started in December 2018, and the EC is seeking to ensure that these legal instruments fit neatly together.

..Overall, the responses to the consultation show a consensus that the motor vehicle block exemption rules have met their objectives and created legal certainty.

..The responses, however, show that the competitive landscape of the automotive sector can be further strengthened. In particular, views are split as to whether competition for repair and maintenance services for motor vehicles has increased since 2010. For example, many respondents referred to the need to address access to in-vehicle-data and to the fact that access to technical information is unsatisfactory.

..The EC likely will maintain the motor block exemption rules, while taking the opportunity to simplify and fine-tune the current regime, notably in light of market developments over the last decade.

Please see full publication below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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