EC Block Exemption review published

  31 May 2021

New technologies and competitive data will be the main focus of any changes to Block Exemption, according to the European Commission which has published its findings into the current laws.

The review found that the competitive environment in motor vehicle markets has not significantly changed since the Commission last evaluated these markets in 2010, but that the sector is now under intense pressure to adapt in line with the green and digital transformation.

EC executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Our evaluation has shown that the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation has made it easier for businesses in the automotive sector to assess whether their agreements are in line with the EU rules on competition.

“At the same time, it showed that we need to take into account the emergence of new technologies and the increasing role of data in competitive dynamics in this industry. The Commission will therefore reflect on how to address these issues to ensure that the rules remain fit for a rapidly changing automotive industry.”

Commenting on the review, Sue Robinson, NFDA chief executive, said: “The NFDA will now be working closely with members and our regulatory working group to analyse the findings, and with the Alliance of European Car Dealers and Repairers for a full review.”

The current general Block Exemption Regulation expires in one year and the specific Motor Vehicle Block Exemption expires a year later, in May 2023. The UK is expected to adopt the new regulations. The EC gathered evidence for this review during October 2020 and January 2021.

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