Technology pools have some competitive effects – they generally provide a “one-stop shop” licence for pool technologies and can also contribute to the implementation of industrial standards. However, they can also restrict competition: the granting of a common license to pooled technology involves the risk of price cartels and pools can reduce innovation by extending alternative technologies, making it more difficult to enter the market new and improved technologies. Technology pools are agreements between two or more parties, in which a set of technologies is assembled and licensed to pool members and third parties. TTBER now covers these provisions when they are directly related to the manufacture or sale of contract products manufactured with licensed technology. This means, for example, that even though the resources purchased by the licensee (and to be used with the technology conceded) are more expensive than the royalties of the technology granted, the procurement provisions continue to fall under the exemption of the GMO TT. The previous test, which provided that such provisions would be less important than the effective granting of technology licences to allow the exemption to be applied, was shown to be difficult in practice. Exemption by category: under these regulations, the European Commission can declare certain categories of state aid compatible with the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU if they meet certain conditions. They are thus exempt from the Commission`s obligation to notify and authorize them. The overall structure of the new category exemption regulation for technology transfers – in particular the provision of a secure port and the market share thresholds introduced in the previous regulation – has not changed. In particular, the new regulation will continue to apply to agreements between competing companies where they do not have a cumulative market share of more than 20% and agreements between non-competing companies if they do not have a cumulative market share of more than 30%. If an agreement is not protected by regulation, it remains legal, unless it contains particularly severe (or “hardcore”) restrictions. Similarly, technology pools often have pro-competitive effects, as they allow a single license for several technologies, often necessary to obtain an industrial standard. However, cooperation within the pool can also be reduced to price-fixing agreements or silos of alternative technologies.
Therefore, the guidelines contain specific rules for the refuge for technology pools. To enjoy the refuge, access to the pool, for example, must be opened when it is created. The pool can only include essential technologies that are not exclusively conceded.