On 12 October 2023, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published new Green Agreements Guidance on the application of the Chapter I prohibition in the Competition Act 1998 to environmental sustainability agreements (the Guidance).
On 27 April 2023, the European Commission (the “Commission”) proposed a new regulation on the licensing of standard essential patents (the “Proposal”). The objective of the Proposal is to facilitate standard essential patent (“SEP”) licensing negotiations by providing clarity on several aspects: transparency as to who owns SEPs and which SEPs are essential; transparency on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and conditions; and dispute resolution for the determination of FRAND terms.
The European Commission has adopted its new guidelines for agreements between competitor (“Horizontal Guidelines”) – which for the first time – contain specific guidance on the antitrust assessment of sustainability agreements. The guidelines are part of an evolving dialogue among antitrust regulators in the EU and globally to ensure competition law supports legitimate cooperation to pursue climate and other sustainability goals.
On February 28, 2023, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) demonstrated its thought leadership in the integration of sustainability and competition policy by publishing draft guidance (“Draft UK Guidelines”) on the application of competition rules to agreements between competitors to tackle environmental sustainability objectives.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) is consulting on its draft guidance (“Draft Guidance”) for its proposed Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order (“VABEO”). It invites comments by May 5, 2022.
As the climate and biodiversity crises loom, coherent efforts are needed in all fields to get to “net zero”. Just as public action is needed, cooperation in the private sector may also prove indispensable to achieve sustainability goals in the short time available.
From this month (January 2022), it will be easier for EU Member States to provide government subsidies (also known as “State aid”) for climate and renewable energy projects. At the same time, the EU is cracking down on public funding for fossil fuels.
The area of standards, and licensing of Standard Essential Patents (“SEPs”) on “fair reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (“FRAND”) is alive as ever. There are developments in three jurisdictions:
Cleary Gottlieb partners Maurits Dolmans, Henry Mostyn and associate Emmi Kuivalainen authored the paper, “Rigid Justice is Injustice: The EU’s Digital Markets Act should include an express proportionality safeguard” which was published in Ondernemingsrecht issue 2-2022.