European Commission public consultation on Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and accompanying Vertical Guidelines. This consultation is part of the on-going review process which was initiated in October 2018 with a view to having revised rules in place when the current rules expire in May 2022.
The revision of the VBER and related guidelines represents an important opportunity in relation to the fight against MFN/parity clauses, which are imposed on hoteliers by large booking platforms and prevent hoteliers from setting their own room prices freely. HOTEREC noted that the current wording of the Regulation does not cover cases in which a powerful “buyer” imposes retail price obligations on the supplier (MFN clauses).