On July 6, 2022, the European Commission launched a public consultation on its proposal to extend the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (“MVBER”), which has been in force since 2010 and is set to expire in May 2023. This regulation facilitates competition law compliance for businesses by exempting certain vertical agreements for the sale of spare parts and the provision of repair and maintenance services from the scope of the Article 101(1) TFEU prohibition on anti-competitive agreements. The MVBER is accompanied by Supplementary Guidelines that offer further guidance on its interpretation and application.
During its evaluation of the MVBER, the Commission concluded the regime continued to be relevant for stakeholders in providing legal certainty while safeguarding competition between motor vehicle manufacturers (“inter-brand competition”) as well as dealers and repairers for the same brand (“intra-brand competition”). The Commission expects market conditions to evolve rapidly to adapt to vehicle digitalization, environmental strategies and changes in mobility patterns. However, it has chosen to defer substantial changes to the new expiry date in May 2028, when the new market reality has emerged.
In the meantime, the Commission is proposing targeted updates to the Supplementary Guidelines to ensure independent operators have access to vehicle-generated data (such as data generated by a car’s sensors) that are essential for repair and maintenance, to ensure they are able to compete with authorized repairers. Such “essential data” would normally include data that is made available to members of the authorized repair network. These amendments are open for consultation until September 30, 2022, and the new MVBER is expected to enter into force in June 2023.
 Commission Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 of 27 May 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector, OJ 2010 L 129/52.
 Commission notice Supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles, OJ 2010 C 138/16.
 Communication for the Commission on the Amendments to the Commission Notice – Supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles, available here.