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Competition: exemptions for certain agreements between competing firms

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Competition: exemptions for certain agreements between competing firms

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EEC) No 2821/71 on the application of the EU Treaty to categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE REGULATION DO?

  • The European Commission may grant individual exemptions to certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices that meet the conditions of Article 81(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty) (now Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)).
  • It may also grant block exemptions by way of regulation.
  • This regulation enables the Commission to exempt certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices by way of a block exemption.

Scope

This regulation enables the Commission to apply, by way of regulation, Article 101(3) TFEU to certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices which have as their object:

  • the research and development of products or processes and exploitation of the results, including provisions regarding industrial property rights and confidential technical knowledge;
  • specialisation, including agreements necessary for achieving it.

Conditions for the exemption regulations

The exemption regulations laid down by the Commission must meet a number of conditions. They must:

  • contain a definition of the categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices to which they apply and specify the restrictions, clauses or other conditions which may appear in them;
  • apply for a limited period, although they may be amended or repealed;
  • apply with retroactive effect to agreements which, at their date of entry into force, might have benefited from a decision issued with retroactive effect under Article 6 of Regulation No 17 (EEC) which was replaced by Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003.

The regulations concerned must comply with the following approval procedure:

  • a draft must be published to enable all persons and organisations concerned to submit their comments to the Commission;
  • the Commission must consult the Advisory Committee on Restrictive Practices and Monopolies before publishing a draft or adopting a regulation;
  • where the Commission, either on its own initiative or at the request of a European Union (EU) country or of natural or legal persons, finds that, in any particular case, agreements, decisions or concerted practices to which an exemption regulation applies nevertheless have certain effects which are incompatible with the conditions laid down in Article 101 (3), it may adopt a decision withdrawing the benefit of the regulation.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It entered into force on 18 January 1972. In applicant countries, this regulation enters into force on the date of the country’s accession to the EU.

ACT

Regulation (EEC) No 2821/71 of the Council of 20 December 1971 on application of Article 85(3)) of the Treaty to categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices(OJ L 285, 29.12.1971, p. 46–48)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EEC) No 2821/71 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, pp. 1–25). See consolidated version.

last update 04.01.2016

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