"The European Commission has published draft Regulations and Guidelines for the assessment of co-operation agreements between competitors, so called horizontal co-operation agreements. The objective of these proposals is to update and further clarify the application of competition rules in this area and to ensure their continuing relevance in the changing economy of today. Interested parties can submit comments until 25 June 2010. After the public consultation and taking full account of stakeholder input, the Commission will adopt final texts at the end of this year. [...]
"A key issue addressed are standard-setting arrangements. Standards are becoming increasingly important in facilitating innovation (in particular in the IT sector) but an efficient, open and transparent standard-setting process is key to ensure effective competition. In particular, the revision of the standardisation chapter – drawing on recent case related experience in the field – aims at ensuring that standards are set in such a way that the specific benefits of standard-setting are realised and passed on to European consumers."
Read the complete press release and draft Regulations and Guidelines here.