[1] Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 of the Commission of 20 April 2010 relating to the application of Article 101, paragraph 3, from the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to the categories of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices, JO L 347 of 23.12.2010, p. JO L 102, 23 April 2010, p. 1. If the VBER is not extended or revised and thus becomes obsolete, the vertical agreements currently covered by the VBER will no longer be exempt from the block exemption. Companies must check whether the vertical agreements they conclude are in line with Article 101 of the Treaty on the basis of the remaining legal framework (the guidelines under Article 101, paragraph 3, the implementation practices of the Commission and national competition authorities, as well as relevant jurisprudence at EU and national level). However, in the case of existing contracts, it seems highly unlikely that the expiration of the VBER will result in a violation of Article 101 of the TFUE. In order to strengthen the monitoring of parallel networks of vertical agreements with similar anti-competitive effects and covering more than 50% of a given market, the Commission can, by regulation, declare this regulation inoperable to vertical agreements which contain specific restrictions for the market in question and thus restore the full application of Article 101 of the Treaty to these agreements. When assessing the agreements under Article 101, paragraph 1, of the Treaty, several factors should be taken into account, in particular the market structure on the supply and procurement side. The likelihood that such efficiency-enhancing effects will predominate of anti-competitive effects due to restrictions in vertical agreements depends on the degree of market power of the parties to the agreement and, therefore, on the extent to which these firms are exposed to competition from other suppliers of goods or services considered by their customers to be interchangeable or substitutable. Competition law complements the Geographical Blocking Regulation, which came into force in December 2018.

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