Supply and Distribution Agreements
On 1 December 2010, new rules governing the application of Irish competition rules to vertical agreements came into effect. These consist of a revised Competition Authority Declaration and Notice (which replace a December 2003 Declaration and Notice) in respect of vertical agreements and concerted practices. Vertical agreements are agreements between businesses operating at different levels of the production or distribution chain relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain goods or services (e.g., exclusive distribution and franchising). The new rules are closely modelled on the EU block exemption on vertical agreements.
For details of the new Irish rules, please click here.
For details of the EU rules, please click here.
Motor Fuels, Cylinder LPG and Bulk LPG
The Competition Authority has also decided that, from 1 December 2010, solus agreements will be covered by the Vertical Agreements Declaration, rather than under the Motor Fuels Declaration (which has been withdrawn). In relation to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (“LPG”), the Authority has decided to allow the Cylinder LPG Declaration to continue in force until 2015 without amendment. Furthermore, In relation to bulk LPG (for which there is no existing Declaration) the Authority has stated that further consideration is required before any possible exemption is decided upon.