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Guidance on restrictions of competition "by object" for the purpose of defining which agreements may benefit from the De Minimis Notice

European Commission, Guidelines, June 2015

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The Commission’s De Minimis Notice provides a safe harbour for agreements between undertakings which the Commission considers to have non-appreciable effects on competition. This safe harbour applies on condition that the market shares of the undertakings concluding those agreements do not exceed the market share thresholds set out in that Notice and provided that the agreements do not have as their object to restrict competition. For the purposes of the application of the De Minimis Notice, hardcore restrictions listed in the Commission block exemption regulations are generally considered to constitute restrictions by object. Therefore, agreements containing restrictions listed as hardcore restrictions in any current or future Commission block exemption regulation cannot benefit from the market share safe harbour set out in that
Notice.

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