BER 2010 explained
The new block exemption regulation for the automotive industry
Within the EU, the European Commission for Competition is responsible for creating a competitive environment to the benefit of the end consumers. One of the tools they can apply is to create industry specific Block Exemption Regulations (BER), exempting the industry from the general competition rules. This gives companies greater clarity on their flexibility to make agreements between each other, without needing a specific approval from the European Commission. One such important BER, is the one for the automotive industry.
On 31st May 2010, the previous BER for the automotive industry (1400/2002) expired and needed to be replaced. Ever since the first BER for the automotive industry was drafted in 1985, every new version has seen shifts towards greater liberalisation in the automotive industry with the aim to increase competition and consequently decrease market prices paid by the end customer. For the European Commission for Competition this ambition remained and resulted in two major evolutions with respect to the distribution of new vehicles (distribution industry) on the one hand, and the distribution of spare parts and the provision of repair and maintenance services (aftermarket industry) on the other hand.
In the following article, Deloitte, with input and viewpoints from industry experts, provides an overview of the major changes in the legislation for both distribution and aftermarket, and concludes with some notes as afterthought for further considerations. 2010