Upcoming Events

[DE] INVITATION | Revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER): A game changer for digital commerce and the future of retail? (February 2)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Wednesday, 2nd of February at 15.00.

The event will consist of an afternoon discussion on whether the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) will be a game changer for digital commerce and the future of retail, with our distinguished speakers:

  • Dr Christian Stempel, Head of Unit, German and European Antitrust Law, German Competition Authority – Bundeskartellamt;
  • Dr Johannes Holzwarth, Case Handler Officer, DG Competition, European Commission;
  • Dr Gregor Schroll, Senior Legal Counsel, Antitrust & Distribution Law, Zalando;
  • Ms Alien Mulyk, Public Affairs Manager, Europe & International, BEVH.

The event will be moderated by Axel Kallmayer, Advisor, German and EU Competition Law Expert, Kapellmann LLP.

This event will be held in German. Please find here the version of the invitation in German.

This is a public event and it will be held on line.

This event is organised in partnership with

About the debate

The competition and retail landscape has evolved during the past ten years. Retail without e-commerce is no longer imaginable. Therefore, the European Commission’s update of the VBER is focusing on the increasing importance of e-commerce and will have a significant impact on the retail sector. Within this context, the European Union is in the process of overhauling its competition law rules which have been regulating the relations between manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and retailers and it is doing so through the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and its accompanying Vertical Guidelines (VGL). The current version of the VBER was adopted in 2010 and European policymakers are now reviewing this piece of legislation in order to either prolong or replace its norms for a further ten-year period taking the developments in the market into account.

As a result of public consultations and impact assessment studies, the EU executive body has been willing to engage with the exponential growth of online sales by putting forward a draft legislative proposal which will entail substantial modifications of the current rules governing all types of vertical relationships within Europe’s supply chain. The governing principles of EU competition law and practices are enshrined in Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which prohibits “all agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices […] which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market”. Although the draft guidelines rightly maintain in this context the prohibition of any restrictions “having the objective to prevent distributors from effectively using the internet” as a sales channel, the updated rules risk de facto to undermine this principle with negative impacts for the further digitalisation of retail.

The debate has been carried out so far prevalently at a highly technical legal level, while the perspective of retailers, SMEs and consumers, notably busy coping with the impact of the pandemic, has passed, for several reasons, under the radar of public discussions. Against this background, some commentators have pointed out that the new legislation would not be fit for purpose in order to tackle the challenges of a fast-growing internet economy. Indeed, with regard to the general impacts of the upcoming Regulation, it has been pointed out that e-commerce has valuably contributed to the enhancement of product and price transparency for European end-consumers, while making it possible for SMEs, the backbone of the EU economy, to enter the market and expand their reach. In addition, several other concerns have emerged, such as dual pricing, removal of equivalence criteria between the online and offline sales channels or the fact that manufacturers and brands would receive more tools to effectively make online reselling less attractive, as well as the new status of both brick-and-mortar retailers and online marketplaces, amongst others.

Given digitisation is one of the priorities of the European Commission, a VBER fit for an omnichannel world for the benefit of both the EU economy and consumers is of great importance and needs to be put at the centre of the debate on EU digital policies. While there is still time to adjust, the updated VBER and its guidelines are to come into force when the current one expires at the end of May 2022.

The event will commence at 15.00 and it will be held in streaming.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #VBER





We look forward to hosting you at 15.00 on the 2nd of February 2022.

INVITATION | Digital Markets Act Trilogue Negotiations: Protecting the consumer interest (December 15)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held Wednesday, 15th of December 2021 at 17.00.

The event will consist of an afternoon session ahead of the trilogue negotiations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on the question of protecting the interest of European consumers  with our distinguished speakers:

  • Ms Lea Zuber, Team Leader, Task Force on Digital Markets Act, DG COMP, European Commission;
  • Professor Annabelle Gawer, Chaired Professor in Digital Economy, University of Surrey;
  • Mr Gareth Shier, Principal, Economist, Oxera;
  • Mr Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, Competition Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association – CCIA Europe.

The discussion will be moderated by Lewis Crofts, Editor-In-Chief, Mlex

 This event will be held online.

This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply

This event is organised in collaboration with

CCIA Europe.


About the debate

There is widespread agreement on the fact that online platforms play a prominent role in creating economic value for consumers and businesses. Increasingly, their economic and social influence, and the appropriate scope of Government intervention, has been at the centre of the European public debate.

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INVITATION | Can Europe combine flexibility, sustainability and innovation when regulating the platform economy? (December 6)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Monday, 6th of December 2021 at 17.00.

The event will consist of an afternoon session on the question of whether Europe can combine flexibility, sustainability and innovation when regulating the platform economy with our distinguished speakers:

  • Mr Radan Kanev MEP (EPP/BG);
  • Mr Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary, ETUC;
  • Mr Samuel Laurinkari, Head of Global Public Policy, Wolt;
  • Mr Menno Bart, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Adecco.

The debate will be moderated by Chris Burns, Longtime international and Brussels journalist.

This event will be held online.

This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply

This event is organised in partnership with

About the debate

The world of work was already in the process of changing before the Corona crisis erupted. It is not by chance that there is a consensus on the fact that technological advancement has driven important transformations and generated several economic and societal changes, along with demographic evolution occurring in Europe. As a result of these processes, the platform economy has been often at the centre of the public debate on the digital transformation of the economy and society in the old continent, as the EU social market economy aims to combine sustainability and economic growth. In more general terms, the European economic and social system aims at fostering a unique idea of development which, in the words of the European Commission, has been defined as “sustainable competitiveness”.

Meanwhile, the platform economy had a significant impact in creating new opportunities for workers, self-employed, customers and businesses alike, while citizens are increasingly engaging in independent forms of work that can combine time flexibility, earning opportunities and the possibility of self-organising their personal life. As a result, several European policymakers and unions have challenged the so-called “gig economy” and have asked for a reclassification of independent platform workers. Indeed, as highlighted by the OECD, “one issue which has received public policy and legal attention in recent years is the correct classification of platform workers” as “platform work is one type of work that blurs the line between dependent and self-employment”.

Following social partners and stakeholder consultations, as well as a non-legislative own-initiative report from the European Parliament, the European Commission has nearly completed the process of finalising a legislative proposal which will be released on December 8 with the objective of improving the working conditions of platform workers, with special regard to the question of access to social protection. In fact, the Corona crisis has exacerbated the gaps in social protection systems, making platform work fit for the 21st century’s social standards became a priority for the EU and highlighting that it is of paramount importance that platform workers are protected, supported and able to exercise their rights without risking their independence or an adequate social safety net. 

Within this context, a recent study by Copenhagen Economics revealed that there is however a risk that the policy shifts would imply a move from a flexible work model towards an inflexible work model. In addition, the study finds that the majority of platform workers actively seek flexible work as “flexibility is the main reason for working”. This result is also due to the fact that platform workers still represent a minority of the overall European workforce, although one that throws an important spotlight on the impact of technological progress.

For these reasons the discussion around the upcoming legislative proposal on platform workers plays an important role in clarifying the set-up of a legal framework that balances flexibility and additional protections for platform workers, while sending the signal that the European social model is compatible with innovation, sustainable growth, as well as with current and future trends of EU economy and society.

The event will commence at 17.00 and it will last until about 18.30.

The discussion will be held in streaming.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do





We look forward to hosting you at 17.00 on the 6th of December


Invitation only | How to design marketplace-related provisions in the Digital Services Act for the benefit of consumers, traders and platforms (November 16)

on behalf of the following EUTA marketplaces

We are pleased to invite you to participate in an online workshop which will be held on the 16th of November 2021 at 16:00 and will last around one hour and a half.

In December 2020, the European Commission proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space which included a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including online marketplaces and other online platforms that operate in the European Union.

With the Digital Services Act (DSA), the European Commission aims to create a modern rulebook across the single market which shall increase online safety of European consumers.

This workshop is a timely opportunity to discuss the question of how to balance obligations for online platforms to achieve the legislative goal and at the same time not to impede the competitiveness of European players on the digital single market.

To guarantee the right choice of products and services for European consumers it is necessary to discuss how European  e-commerce platforms will operate in the foreseeable future, with special regard to the questions of their liability exemption, Know Your Business Customer (KYBC) obligations and the online marketplace definition



Welcome to the audience


Introduction of the speakers

Magdalena Piech, Regulatory Affairs Director, Allegro, Chair of EUTA

Carolin Wehrhahn, Director, EU Public Affairs, Adevinta

Marjolein Verkerk, Manager for Corporate Affairs, bol.com

Cécile Barateau, Director for External Relations, Cdiscount

Daniela Borlea, Head of EU Affairs, eMAG

The biographies and the pictures of the speakers and the moderator are available here

European Tech Alliance’s (EUTA) representatives session

Defining prerequisites for liability exemption to safeguard open and fair marketplace model

KYBC obligations which do not create entry barriers for traders

A future-proof definition of online marketplaces


Q&A Session & Conclusive remarks

17:00 – 17.30


The event will be moderated by Cesare Fragomeni, EUTA Secretariat