EU antitrust rules usually ban vertical agreements and concerted practices, which are likely to restrict competition in any given sector and there is currently an exemption for certain agreements and practices in the automotive sector.
To evaluate whether the exemption is still effective, efficient, and consistent with other EU and national rules, the European Commission launched a consultation to gather stakeholders’ views as the current exemption expires on 31 May 2023.
The consultation looked to assess whether the objectives of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) are being met and sought to collect facts and evidence on the key competition issues arising in vertical relationships on the motor vehicle distribution and after-sales markets.
The BVRLA responded to the consultation following extensive member engagement which included a working group of members assisting the BVRLA in identifying the future direction the sector would like to see for MVBER. These focused on the need for core MVBER elements to be maintained but to allow for updates as technology changes.
Member concerns focused on:
- Maintaining leasing companies and rental firms’ end-user status.
- Securing access to vehicle data and systems of vehicles owned by leasing companies and rental firms.
- Protecting the independent aftermarket. Independents need renewed protection, which takes cybersecurity concerns into account, to ensure they have access to vehicle data and systems to be able to diagnose and repair vehicles.
The BVRLA’s focus will now shift from the EU MVBER regulations to the UK, which is able to set its own course, and trying to ensure that any approach the UK government takes works for the sector.
If you are interested in getting involved or have anything you would like to discuss, contact email@example.com.