Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers
Chapter 19: Vertical Restraints and Online Sales in the Era of Modernization: Is the New Regime ‘Modern’ Enough?
Massimo Merola and Leonardo Armati 19.1 INTRODUCTION Initiated in the late 1990s, the modernization of European competition law is a complex process that was born out of several historical factors. While the prospect of enlargement by itself triggered the modernization process, other factors also played a crucial role. Among these were, namely, the increasing globalization of the economy and the need to promote integration, efﬁciency and competitiveness within the single market. These factors drove the Commission to abandon some of its previous dogmas on anticompetitive practices and use economic theory as a source to develop its policy and rules, and employ thorough factual analysis as a primary tool for the enforcement of these rules. The effects-based approach is an essential component of the modernization of European competition law and encompasses action in all its ﬁelds, from state aid to restrictive agreements, from abuse of dominance to merger control. Vertical restraints, in particular, were an ideal candidate for an early application of the new approach and the Commission’s 1996 Green Paper on vertical restraints, which preceded the adoption of Regulation No. 2790/1999,1 represents a milestone in the modernization process. As a result 1 Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2790/1999 of 22 December 1999 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices (Text with EEA relevance), OJ (1999) L 336/21. For a thorough analysis of the application of Article 101 TFEU (formerly Article 81 EC) to vertical agreements, see: Whish, R...
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