Skip to main content
Competition Policy

Review of the TTBER and related Guidelines

Policy field

Competition: Antitrust



Art. 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“the Treaty”) prohibits agreements between undertakings that restrict competition unless they 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 accordance with Art. 101(3) of the Treaty.

Technology transfer agreements are agreements by which one party authorises another to use certain industrial property rights (e.g. patents, design rights, software copyrights and know-how) for the production of goods or services. In many cases, such agreements either do not restrict competition, i.e. they fall outside the scope of Article 101(1) of the Treaty, or, where they fall within Article 101(1), they create objective efficiencies that are passed on to consumers and meet the conditions of Article 101(3) of the Treaty. However, technology transfer agreements, or certain clauses within such agreements, can also have negative effects on competition. In particular, they may facilitate collusion, restrict the ability of competitors to enter the market or to expand, or they may harm inter- or intra-technology competition, for example by reducing the incentives to innovate.

Regulation No 19/65/EEC empowers the Commission to apply Article 101(3) of the Treaty, by means of a regulation, to certain categories of technology transfer agreements. The Commission used this empowerment to adopt Commission Regulation (EC) No 316/2014 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty to technology transfer agreements (‘the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation’), which will expire on 30 April 2026.

The Commission also provided guidance on the assessment of technology transfer agreements in the related Commission Communication - Guidelines on the application of Article 101 of the Treaty to technology transfer agreements (‘the Technology Transfer Guidelines’).

The purpose of the review is to gather evidence on the functioning of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation and the Technology Transfer Guidelines, in order to inform the decision on whether the Commission should allow that Regulation to expire, prolong its duration or revise it.


Reference documents

The Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation and the Technology Transfer Guidelines are available here.


Target group of the review

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to the consultation.

Contributions are particularly sought from companies with business operations in the EU, active in various sectors of the economy, which hold industrial property rights and/or enter into technology transfer agreements with other independent companies. The review process is also likely to interest law firms and economic consultancy firms that advise such undertakings on related competition issues. Other stakeholders with a possible interest include academics specialising in EU competition law and industrial property rights.

The experience gathered by the competition authorities and the courts of the EU Member States in applying the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation will also be relevant for this review.


The phases of the review

In accordance with the Better Regulation principles, the procedure is divided into two phases: (i) an evaluation phase and (ii) an impact assessment phase.

A. Evaluation phase

The objective of the evaluation phase is to gather evidence on the functioning of the current Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation and the accompanying Technology Transfer Guidelines. In line with the Better Regulation principles, this evaluation will be based on five evaluation criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value.

The progress of the evaluation phase could be followed on the dedicated webpage of the “Have Your Say” portal.

1. Call for Evidence

A Call for Evidence was published on 25 November 2022. The deadline for stakeholders to provide feedback was 23 December 2022.

12 stakeholders have provided their feedback and their responses are published on the Have Your Say portal.

2. Results of the public consultation

The public consultation was launched on 17 April 2023. The deadline for stakeholders to reply to the questionnaire was 24 July 2023.

20 respondents replied to the online questionnaire and their replies are available on the Have Your Say portal.

2 other stakeholders also responded to the public consultation but not via the Have Your Say portal. Click here to access their submissions.

Click here to access the factual summary of the contributions received in response to the public consultation.

3. Stakeholder workshop

In the context of the European Commission’s  evaluation of the competition rules for technology transfer agreements, DG Competition is holding an online workshop to gather more information on the functioning of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (“TTBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on technology transfer agreements (“Guidelines”). The workshop will focus on areas of the rules that have attracted the most comments in the recent call for evidence and public consultation.

The workshop will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday 6 December 2023, from 13:30 to 17:30 CET.

Registration for the event is now closed.

If you have questions about the workshop, please contact the TTBER review team at %20COMP-TTBER-REVIEWatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (COMP-TTBER-REVIEW[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


Contact details

Responsible services:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A.1 - Antitrust Case Support and Policy.
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT.6464

E-Mail address: COMP-TTBER-REVIEWatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (COMP-TTBER-REVIEW[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
Place Madou/Madouplein 1
1210 Bruxelles/Brussel