Sep 17

GCR Review of the Vertical Restraints Regime

17 September 2009 at 18:00 to 23:00

Brussels, Belgium

GCR Review of the Vertical Restraints Regime
Reform of the rules on distribution and other vertical agreements

Thursday 17 September 2009, Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Brussels

In May 2010, the current Vertical Agreements Block Exemption will expire. Along with a new block exemption, a new version of the Vertical Guidelines will also enter into force. These are the competition rules which are probably of most practical importance to business on a day-today basis.

GCR has arranged this conference to examine in-depth the Commission's proposals for the new block exemption and revised Vertical Guidelines being published this summer.

Speakers include senior lawyers and economists from private practice, the European Commission, national competition authorities and industry, who will analyse the effect of the proposed changes on existing distribution arrangements:

  • What are likely to be the new opportunities and where should we expect a stricter approach?
  • Will there be changes in key areas such as resale price maintenance, selective distribution, parallel trade, internet selling and the distribution options of dominant firms?

As the focus of enforcement is at the national level, we will also consider the particularities of key national rules.

This conference provides a unique opportunity to learn about, debate and influence this key reform.

This conference will be of interest to:

  • In-house lawyers
  • Private practitioners specialising in competition law
  • Consultant economists
  • Enforcement agencies

Speakers

  • Andrzej Kmiecik
    Partner, Van Bael & Bellis
    Brussels
  • Fiona Carlin
    Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP
    Brussels
  • Luc Peeperkorn
    Senior Administrator, DG Competition, European Commission
    Brussels
  • Frank Wijckmans
    Partner, Contrast Law
    Brussels
  • Edvard Carleson
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Volvo CE
  • Stephen Kinsella OBE
    Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
    Brussels
  • Fabrizio Mecozzi
    Legal Counsel, Nike Europe
    Hilversum
  • Paul Lugard
    Head of Antitrust, Philips International BV
  • Joseph Vogel
    Partner, Vogel & Vogel, Paris
  • Markus Wirtz
    Partner, Glade Michel Wirtz
  • Fabien Zivy
    Chief of Staff of the President, Autorité de la Concurrence
    Paris
  • Jackie Holland
    Director of Competition Policy, Office of Fair Trading
    London
  • Pamela Jones Harbour
    Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Joanna Goyder
    Barrister, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
    Brussels
  • Susan Hinchliffe
    Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
    Brussels
  • Adrian Majumdar
    Partner, RBB Economics
    London
  • Jean Yves Art
    Director, Competition Law
    Microsoft
  • Peter Vanderghinste
    Competition Counsel
    Nestlé SA
08:30

Registration and coffee

09:00

Chairman's opening remarks

09:05

Setting the Scene

Overview of the current rules and their application to the main forms of distribution

  • Fiona Carlin
    Partner, Baker & McKenzie
09:35

View from the Commission

  • The revised Regulation and Guidelines
  • Main changes
    Luc Peeperkorn
    Senior Administrator
    DG Competition, European Commission
10:20

10.20 Discussion and Q&A

10:35

Exclusive Distribution

  • How much more exclusivity will manufacturers be able to grant under the new rules? Do the new rules strike the right balance?
  • Do the new rules offer more flexibility to impose active sales restrictions?
  • How far can internet selling be restricted to protect an exclusive network?
  • Is the protection of parallel trade still a sacred cow (Advocate General’s opinion in Glaxo Spain)?
  • Frank Wijckmans
    Partner, Contrast Law
  • Edvard Carleson
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Volvo CE
11:10

Coffee break

11:30

Selective Distribution

  • What interests should selective distribution protect and where do the real dangers lie?
  • How do/should trademark rights and unfair competition law fit in?
  • What will the future retail landscape look like and what role will competition law play?
  • Stephen Kinsella
    Partner, Sidley & Austin LLP
12:05

Are there still stricter national rules to take into account?

  • The German and French approach to the unilateral conduct of non-dominant firms in distribution arrangements
  • When are non-dominant suppliers unable to discriminate or to refuse to supply despite being able to do so without offending the EC rules?
  • What effect does this have on the use of quantitative selective distribution and exclusive distribution?
  • Have the practical risks in France been reduced after the recent reform of the French Commercial Code?
  • Joseph Vogel
    Partner, Vogel & Vogel
  • Markus Wirtz
    Partner, Glade Michel Wirtz
12:35

PANEL DISCUSSION AND COMMENT

  • Luc Peeperkorn
    Senior Administrator
    DG Competition, European Commission
  • Paul Lugard
    Head of Antitrust, Philips International B.V.
  • Fabrizio Mecozzi
    Legal Counsel, Nike Europe
  • Fabien Zivy
    Head of Chief of Staff of the President, Autorité de la Concurrence
  • Jackie Holland
    Director of Competition Policy, Office of Fair Trading
13:10

Lunch

14:20

Resale Price Maintenance

  • Will there be a sea-change in approach?
  • Given the fines being routinely imposed for RPM across the EU, how will it be possible in practice to assess whether RPM could fall outside of Article 81 or qualify for exemption on an individual exemption?
  • Joanna Goyder
    Barrister, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Pamela Jones Harbour
    Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
15:00

Tea

15:15

Buyer Power and other Topical Retailer Practices

  • Will there be much greater concern about practices associated with buyer power?
  • What can be learnt from the supermarket inquiries in the UK and elsewhere?
  • The treatment of slotting allowances and category management arrangements.
  • Susan Hinchliffe
    Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Adrian Majumdar
    Partner, RBB Economics
<!---

Comment:

  • Peter Vandeghinste
    Competition Counsel, Nestlé SA
--->
16:00

What forms of distribution may dominant suppliers use?

  • Will there be a softening of approach?
  • Jean Yves Art
    Director, Competition Law, Microsoft
16:25

PANEL DISCUSSION AND COMMENT

  • Luc Peeperkorn
    Senior Administrator
    DG Competition, European Commission
  • Paul Lugard
    Head of Antitrust, Philips International B.V.
  • Fabrizio Mecozzi
    Legal Counsel, Nike Europe
  • Jackie Holland
    Director of Competition Policy, Office of Fair Trading
  • Fabien Zivy
    Head of Chief of Staff of the President, Autorité de la Concurrence
17:10

Close of conference

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Event details

Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Rue du Fosse aux Loups 47, Wolvengracht 47
Brussels, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 219 28 28

Comments on GCR conferences:

  • "Very well organised, no issues, GCR staff always helpful and professional."

    Joseph Adam
    Assistant General Counsel – Deere & Co.

  • "A good sharing and input forum."

    Corporate Legal Counsel & Company Secretary
    – Star Petroleum Refining Public Company

  • “The live symposium session was enjoyable and the in-house counsel session was very informative.”

    Legal services – Pioneer Foods Ltd

Sponsorship opportunities

GCR conferences provide an excellent opportunity to raise your corporate profile, allowing face-to-face interaction with key clients and decision makers.

To discuss the opportunities available, please contact:

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