On 6 November 2019, the European Commission launched a public consultation on horizontal category exemption regulations (HBERs) – the Category Exemption Regulation for Research and Development (“R-D BER”) and the Category Exemption Regulation for Specialisations (“BER Specialization”) as well as accompanying guidelines for horizontal cooperation agreements. Agreements between competitors (horizontal agreements) are exempt from the prohibition of Article 101, paragraph 1 of the TFUE, which can almost certainly be met by the conditions set out in Article 101, paragraph 3, of the TFUE. Earlier this year, we reported on the European Commission`s consultation on its revised guidelines for cooperation between competitors. These guidelines and rules are included in the Commission`s guidelines for horizontal cooperation as well as in the category exemption regulations in the area of research and development and specialisation. The ERBs expire in December 2022 and the EC has conducted a public consultation procedure to review them. In some of the opinions received to date, stakeholders have focused on standard patents and French-language negotiations within patent pools and standard development organizations, as well as on joint purchase agreements for retail alliances. Stakeholders also asked for clarification on the rules on the exchange of information between competitors. Sustainability and digitization are the two most important trends for respondents in terms of the application of horizontal rules. Horizontal guidelines and HRBs do not provide clear guidelines for certain types of horizontal cooperation, resulting in a lack of legal certainty. Guidelines should include sustainability agreements, data exchange contracts, collective bargaining, joint purchases, joint tenders and co-insurance contracts. The threshold for the cumulative market share that contracting entities can achieve in order to qualify for a category exemption is 20% (for specialization agreements) or 25% (R and; D).
If these values are exceeded, research and development and specialisation agreements are not automatically prohibited, but must be assessed individually in light of the exemption under Article 101, paragraph 3, of the EUFS. On 5 September, the European Commission (EC) launched a stakeholder consultation on EU competition rules on horizontal agreements between companies operating in the market at the same level of production or distribution. These regulations should be in line with EU rules on cartels and abuse of dominance, but some R and D (R and R D), in particular, have been excluded under two EU regulations that expire in December 2022. This assessment is now examining whether they should be extended, extended or modified. The online consultation will continue until October 3, 2019. EU competition rules for horizontal agreements A guide to the evaluation of horizontal agreements (including the European Commission`s guidelines on horizontal cooperation and category exemption regulations on R and; D and Specialisation) January 2018 / EU competition rules for horizontal agreements Content 1. Introduction 1 2. Exchange of information 8 3.
Research and development agreements 10 4. Production agreements 20 5. Sales contracts 24 6. Marketing agreements 25 7. Standardisation agreements and standard conditions 26 / EU competition rules for horizontal agreements 1 1. Introduction 1.1 Companies take permanent steps to remain competitive and bring their goods and services to market – production, sale and marketing of their products; Purchasing raw materials and inputs; and research and development of new products.