VBER DEEP DIVE - Exclusive distribution

16 Aug 2022

VBER DEEP DIVE - Exclusive distribution

Is a supplier still allowed to protect its exclusive distributors against active sales by its other distributors?

The new VBER regime has maintained the protection of exclusive distributors and their investments. It finetunes the conditions for imposing active sales restrictions, while at the same time allowing more intra-brand competition through shared exclusivity:

- The definition of exclusivity confirms that the exclusivity condition encompasses the possibility of shared exclusivity, now that a supplier may allocate a territory or customers to a maximum of five distributors.

- The requirement of parallel imposition, which is often a challenge in daily practice, is here to stay: the VBER unequivocally stipulates that the supplier must impose the active sales restriction on all its other buyers.

- The new VBER softens the roll-over prohibition. Under the new regime, suppliers are allowed to impose an active sales restriction not only on their buyers, but also on direct customers of the buyers.

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