Continuity is not the only underlying consideration. The last iteration of the horizontal frame was published almost ten years ago. Since then, the economy has changed considerably. The agenda for climate change and digitization are the most obvious examples of trends poorly addressed by the HGL. It seems that companies sometimes find it difficult to apply the principles of the current framework to the modern business environment. The calculation of market shares, in the sense of both the E.R. class exemption regulation and these guidelines, must reflect the distinction between existing markets and competition in the area of innovation. At the beginning of research and development cooperation, the benchmark is the existing market for products that can be improved, replaced or replaced by products under development. Where the research and development agreement is only intended to improve or refine existing products, this market includes products directly affected by research and development.

Market shares can therefore be calculated on the basis of the selling value of existing products. The potential effects of such agreements may be the loss of competition between the parties to the agreement. Competitors can also benefit from the reduction in competitive pressure resulting from the agreement and may therefore consider it cost-effective to increase their prices. Reducing these competitive constraints can lead to higher prices in the market in question. Factors such as whether the parties to the agreement have high market shares, whether they are close competitors, whether customers have limited opportunities to switch suppliers, whether competitors are not likely to increase supply in the event of price increases and whether one of the parties to the agreement is a significant competitive force , are relevant to the assessment of the competition of the agreement. In the area of horizontal cooperation agreements, there are category exemption regulations based on Article 101, paragraph 3, for research and development (38) and specialisation agreements (including joint production) (39). These category exemption regulations are based on the fact that the combination of complementary capabilities or assets can be the source of significant efficiencies in research and development and specialization agreements. The same may be true for other types of horizontal cooperation agreements. The analysis of the efficiency gains of an individual agreement under Article 101, paragraph 3, therefore, is largely to determine the capabilities and complementary assets that each of the parties bring to the agreement and to determine whether the resulting efficiency gains are in such a way that the conditions set out in Article 101, paragraph 3, are met.

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