Commission adopts revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations
Posted - 10.07.2023
On 1 June 2023, the EU Commission adopted revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations ("HBERs") applicable to R&D agreements (cooperation in research and development of new products and technologies) and specialisation agreements (agreements between two parties which are active on the same product market by virtue of which one party decides to cease production of certain products and instead purchase same from the other party).
The HBERs serve as an exception to the general prohibition outlined in Article 101(1) TFEU, granting protection for qualifying R&D and specialisation agreements. They entered into force on 1 July 2023.
The revised Horizontal Guidelines complement these regulations. They provide valuable insights on how the HBERs should be applied, how to assess R&D and specialisation agreements that fall outside the safe harbour, and various other common types of cooperation agreements between competing companies such as, among others, joint purchasing agreements, information sharing, or sustainability agreements.