The European Commission (Commission) has launched a public consultation on the current rules applicable to restrictions in horizontal co-operation agreements (i.e. agreements between competitors). The instruments open for consultation are the research & development block exemption regulation, the specialisation block exemption (both of which are due to expire at the end of 2010) and the Commission’s Guidelines on application of Article 81 to horizontal agreements. The Commission has invited stakeholders to submit their comments by 30 January 2009.