The European Commission has published its competition policy suggestions regarding the future of the motor vehicle sector. The European car sector has traditionally been partially exempt from general competition rules in the form of a Block Exemption Regulation, i.e. a set of competition rules specific to the sector.
The Commission proposes to align this Block Exemption Regulation to general EU competition rules on vertical agreements. It is, however, considering introducing guidelines against any possible foreclosure of new entrants, price discipline imposed by manufacturers and any market segmentation. In relation to aftermarkets (after-sales service and repairs), the Commission finds that competition is less intense and intends to apply general EU competition rules in conjunction with sector specific guidelines and/or an additional, more focused sectoral Block Exemption Regulation.
Interested parties can submit observations on the proposed policy options by 25 September 2009.