On July 12, the CMA published its final guidance (the Guidance) accompanying the UK’s block exemption for vertical agreements (VABEO).[1] 

On February 16, 2022, the Cour de cassation confirmed that lack of mutual trust is a valid reason for a supplier to refuse to reappoint a former member of its selective distribution network, upholding an important decision of the Paris Court of Appeals in the automotive industry.[1]

On February 4, 2022, the Commission released a revised draft dual distribution guidance[1] within the broader context of the ongoing review of EU vertical rules.

On February 1, 2022, the ICA imposed a fine of approximately €10 million on G2 Misuratori S.r.l., Maddalena S.p.A., Itron Italia S.p.A., Sensus Italia S.r.l. and WaterTech S.p.A. (the “Companies”) for having participated, between December 2011 and September 2019, in an agreement restricting competition in at least 161 public tenders launched by national integrated water service operators for the procurement of meters for the legal measurement of water consumption.

On January 31, 2022, the Commission launched a formal investigation of Pierre Cardin and its largest licensee, the Ahlers Group (“Ahlers”) concerning the restriction of cross-border and online sales of Pierre Cardin-licensed products.[1] The Commission will investigate whether Pierre Cardin’s licensing agreement with Ahlers restricted parallel imports and sales to specific customer groups.

On January 26, 2022, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation (the French Supreme Court) has ruled for the first time that companies’ internal documents summarizing or forwarding outside counsel’s legal advice in connection with anticipated litigation are protected by the French legal privilege (secret professionnel).  The French case law is therefore gradually moving closer to the EU one.

On January 26, 2022, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation (the French Supreme Court) has ruled for the first time that companies’ internal documents summarizing or forwarding outside counsel’s legal advice in connection with anticipated litigation are protected by the French legal privilege (secret professionnel).  The French case law is therefore gradually moving closer to the EU one.

On January 19, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) closed its proceedings on furniture retailer KHG GmbH & Co. KG’s (Krieger/Höffner Group, “KHG”) envisaged accession to the purchasing cooperation Bedarfsgüter Großhandelsgesellschaft für Wohnung GmbH (“Begros”) which it had initiated in early 2021.  In the end, KHG and Begros were able to dispel the FCO’s concerns by offering substantial modifications to their initial plans.[1]