Antitrust: Commission publishes findings of the evaluation of rules on horizontal agreements between companies

Daily News 06/05/2021

Economia - pubblicata il 07 Maggio 2021

Source: European Commission press office

Brussels, 6th May 2021 – The European Commission has published today a
Staff Working Document
that summarises the findings of the evaluation of the two horizontal block exemption regulations on Research & Development and specialisation agreements (“R&D BER”
and “Specialisation BER” respectively, together “HBERs”), together with the Horizontal Guidelines. The aim of the evaluation was to allow the Commission to determine whether it should let the
HBERs lapse, prolong their duration or revise them.
final report of the study
is also published today. The evaluation has shown that (i) the HBERs and the Horizontal Guidelines are still relevant and (ii) several areas were identified where
their effectiveness can be improved.
During the next weeks, the Commission will launch the impact assessment phase of the review to look into the issues identified during the evaluation with a view to having revised rules in place
by 31 December 2022 when the current rules will expire. Stakeholders will have the possibility to comment on the inception impact assessment and to provide their views in the context of a public
consultation, which is planned for the middle of this year. At the beginning of next year, the Commission will publish a draft of the revised rules for stakeholder comments.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: The evaluation has shown that the rules on horizontal agreements between companies
and the Horizontal Guidelines are useful tools for businesses. At the same time, the evaluation has identified several areas where the rules are not sufficiently adapted to digitisation and the
pursuit of sustainability goals. The Commission will now reflect on how to revise these rules in order to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.
A press release is available online.

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