Block Exemption Regulation for Specialisation Agreements (Regulation)
Specialisation agreements are horizontal agreements between undertakings on the specialisation requirements regarding the production of certain goods or the provision of services. With regard to specialisation agreements on intermediary products captively used for the production of downstream products the recast version of the Block Exemption Regulation requires a second market share threshold. Moreover, the Commission specifies the definition of “potential competition“ and clearly states that specialisations can be exempted even if a party chooses to cease production only “partly”.
Both the hardcore restrictions as well as the market share threshold of 20% are appropriate. The second market share threshold for intermediary products is to be welcomed. It reduces the risk that undertakings which are not operating in any economic field affected by specialisation restrict competition. The BER increases legal certainty and reduces economic costs, since it releases undertakings from the obligation to examine agreements on a case-by-case basis.