K&L Gates’ Verticals Predictions for 2023: Top Trends, Opportunities and Pitfalls

By: Gabriela da CostaJennifer P.M. MarshDr. Annette Mutschler-Siebert, M. Jur. (Oxon)Francesco CarloniMichal KoconNikolaos Peristerakis

It has now been six months since the new vertical distribution laws came into effect in the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK). With many consumer brands starting 2023 looking for ways to shore up their resilience and profitability in a challenging market, our EU and UK Antitrust and Competition Law team has jotted down our thoughts on the trends that have gained the most traction under the new rules, big opportunities up for grabs, and lessons learned on pitfalls to avoid.

In our latest alert available here, we highlight:

  • How dual pricing for goods sold online versus offline is proving popular, with brands looking for antitrust-law compliant ways to incentivise value, reduce the risk of a “race to the bottom” on prices and quality, and achieve a level playing field for the resale of their products in the EU and UK;
  • The surprisingly expanded scope to impose inconsistent online marketplace restrictions on resellers – but potential risk areas to watch out for;
  • What brands should be asking themselves as they increasingly sell directly to consumers (D2C) in competition with their retail customers;
  • The potentially enormous opportunities for optimised distribution system structuring in Europe and the UK that brands have been slower to dip their toes into so far; and
  • Good news for brands about preventing sales into and out of the UK post-Brexit – an important clarification that many may have missed.

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