06 Jun 2023

New Block Exemption Regulations and Guidelines on Horizontal Agreements

Starting from July 1, 2023, the newly adopted Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations on Research and Development Agreements (“R&D“) and Specialisation agreements (together “HBERs“) shall take effect in the EU.

The essence of HBERs, and the accompanying Horizontal Guidelines (“Guidelines“), is to facilitate the self-assessment of the most common types of horizontal cooperation agreements.  They are also well-known as a safe harbor to undertakings, for as long as the latter comply with the rules set in the HBERs, leading to block exemption of such agreements from the competition rules.

The novelties in said pieces of legislation offer a more flexible approach to calculating the market shares and include more types of production agreements in their scope.  They also aim to bring clarity, incorporate recent case law, and facilitate green and digital transitions by simplifying cooperation among undertakings for their mutual economic benefits.

We will return with more details on these novelties, so stay tuned!