Do agency agreements break EU antitrust rules?

  11 April 2022

‘Non-genuine’ agency dealer contracts, which combine traditional distribution and the agency model, risk breaking EU antitrust laws, says European retailer trade group CECRA.

Such hybrid contracts “could be outside the block exemption from EU competition legislation” and be a “potentially anti-competitive practice”.

Automakers, said CECRA, should not be allowed to cherry-pick benefits by combining business models: “They are not allowed to combine different models and taking advantage out of each particular system,” it said in a press release.

“We see some manufacturers becoming imaginative.”

For genuine agency models, it added, “we have no legal concerns. It is up to the actual dealers to negotiate the content of the contracts”.

The NFDA has also alerted about non-genuine agency models, saying they could “create genuine antitrust risk”.

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