In accordance with Section 5 of the Competition Act 2010, relief of liability under this provision can be granted independently by the MyCC in the following manner to an otherwise a breach of the Act:
- Individual exemption under section 6 of the Act; or
- Block exemption under section 8 of the Act.
Enterprises can apply to the MyCC for an individual exemption with respect to a particular agreement from the Chapter 1 Prohibition which may be granted by the MyCC subject to conditions, obligations and for a limited duration.
An individual exemption can be cancelled or varied if there is a material change of circumstances or there is a breach or non-compliance of an imposed condition.
The MyCC may grant a block exemption to a particular category of agreements. For example, this could be a distribution agreement in a particular industry. The advantage of a block exemption is that similar agreements can be examined at the same time which will allow the MyCC to provide a better overall assessment of the anti-competitive impact and an assessment of the claimed benefits and will also relieve enterprises of having to submit separate applications.
As with an individual exemption, a block exemption can be cancelled if there is a material change of circumstances or there is a breach or non-compliance of an imposed condition.
Before granting a block exemption, the MyCC shall publish details of the proposed block exemption and give at least thirty days from the date of publication to allow
submissions to be made by members of the public. The MyCC shall also give due consideration to any submission made.
The applicant may wish to conduct a self-assessment exercise in ascertaining whether its application is necessary. Anyone who is in doubt about how they and their commercial activities may be affected by the Act may wish to seek legal advice.