All citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation.
Period of consultation
From 14.10.2022 to 14.11.2022
Objective of the consultation
Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prohibits agreements between undertakings that restrict competition unless they generate efficiencies in line with Article 101(3) TFEU. This requires that such agreements contribute to improving the production or distribution of goods or services, or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefits. In addition, they must only impose restrictions that are indispensable for the attainment of these objectives and which do not eliminate competition in respect of a substantial part of the product in question. The prohibition contained in Article 101(1) TFEU covers, among others, agreements entered into between actual or potential competitors.
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2821/71 of 20 December 1971 on application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practice enables the Commission to declare that the provisions of Article 101(1) do not apply to certain categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices. This is in order to make it easier for undertakings to cooperate in ways that are economically desirable and without any adverse effect for competition policy.
Commission Regulation (EU) No 1217/2010 of 14 December 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) TFEU to certain categories of research and development agreements and Commission Regulation No 1218/2010 of 14 December 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) TFEU to certain categories of specialisation agreements (the Regulations) grant a block exemption from the prohibition contained in Article 101(1) TFEU to certain categories of research and development agreements and specialisation agreements. The Regulations expire on 31 December 2022.
Following an evaluation of the Regulations, the Commission, on 7 June 2021, launched an impact assessment of policy options for the adoption of new block exemption regulations for research and development agreements and specialisation agreements. On 1 March 2022, the Commission published draft new regulations for stakeholder comment.
The objective of this initiative is to ensure sufficient time for the Commission to complete the process for the adoption of new regulations. In particular, more time is needed to fully consider feedback received in response to the public consultation on the draft texts, which ended on 26 April 2022. For this purpose, it is proposed to extend the period of validity of the Regulations by 6 months, namely until 30 June 2023.
In parallel to asking for feedback on the revised texts, the Commission has also published a Call for evidence concerning this initiative (see here or here).
How to submit your contribution
You can contribute to this consultation by submitting your feedback on the draft revised text of the Regulations (see under “Consultation document”) to COMP-HBERS-REVIEW@ec.europa.eu;
You can also submit your feedback on the Call for evidence, which can be consulted by clicking here or here.
We would appreciate receiving documents in an electronic format.
Please note that we cannot guarantee to take account of replies received after the deadline.
Draft proposed amendment to regulation 1217/2010 (PDF)
Draft proposed amendment to regulation 1218/2010 (PDF)
Reference documents and other, related consultations
- Council Regulation (EEC) No 2821/71 of 20 December 1971 on application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to categories of agreements, decisions and concerted EUR-Lex - 31971R2821 - EN
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 1217/2010 of 14 December 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) TFEU to certain categories of research and development agreements EUR-Lex - 32010R1217 - EN
- Commission Regulation No 1218/2010 of 14 December 2010 on the application of Article 101(3) TFEU to certain categories of specialisation agreements EUR-Lex - 32010R1218 - EN
- Review of the two Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations (2019)
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A.1: Antitrust Case Support and Policy
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT.5454 Review Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations
Directorate-General for Competition