Evaluation support study on applicable to horizontal the EU competition rules co-operation agreements in the Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations and the Guidelines – May 2021

Practice Area: Competition & Antitrust
Client: EC DG Competition
Published: May, 2021
Tagged: competition report

The objective of this study was to provide support to DG COMP’s evaluation of Regulations (EC) No 1217/2010 and 1218/2010 (referred to as the HBERs), and of the Commission’s Guidelines on the Applicability of Article 101 TFEU to Horizontal Cooperation Agreements, taking into account the specific objectives of the legal framework as well as new market developments since the adoption of the HBERs that are currently in place. To this end, the study contributes in particular by providing the Commission with qualitative and quantitative information on the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the HBERs and the Horizontal Guidelines in line with the Commission’s evaluation standards set out in the Better Regulation Guidelines and the Better Regulation Toolbox.

This includes identifying overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies and/or obsolete provisions that may have appeared over time since the adoption of the rules. The study supports DG COMP in drawing policy conclusions on how well the HBERs and the Horizontal Guidelines have been performing and feed into possible consideration on the future of the relevant regulatory framework. This study covered all six main types of horizontal cooperation agreements, as covered in the Horizontal Guidelines: joint R&D, joint production/specialisation, joint purchasing, joint commercialisation, standardisation agreements, and information exchanges. The outcome of the study is an evidence-based assessment of whether the legislation still meets its specific objectives and whether it remains in line with market developments.

The report can be downloaded here.