IRS officials have reservations about group exemptions in general, and have suggested that the recent revocation of tax-exempt status for roughly 275,000 groups that failed to file Form 990-N returns for three consecutive years might indicate that parent organizations are not exercising control over their chapters to make sure they file the return as required.
In a report to the IRS this past summer, the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) recommended that the IRS retain the group exemption process but eliminate group returns and require every chapter or subordinate organization to file their own Form 990.
(69) Likewise, the statements on the advantages (in particular legal certainty) and disadvantages (legalism, yet imprecision, straitjacket effect etc.), which the report collects, mirror the well-known repertoire of pros and cons that have accompanied the group exemptions since their inception and regardless of their permanent "liberalization." Most of them would only require amending Regulation 240/96 rather than a reform of policy altogether, (70) at least if the group exemption approach is to be maintained at all.
(c) Administrative responsibilities and deficits While such focusing of antitrust control over industrial property-related restraints of competition on quasi-monopolization cases fits well into the general picture of the Commission's competition policy as it has evolved over the last decade, and shall not be discussed here, (54) exclusive reliance on group exemptions as an instrument of enforcement policy requires a few additional remarks.
(24) In addition, the Commission did not wish to abandon entirely its claim to effective control by issuing a group exemption, which puts a veil of intransparency over entire classes of possibly restrictive transactions.
As a matter of legal technique, a particular, albeit typical form of license transaction, the exclusive license, in particular the exclusive territorial license, was made the focal point of control, and the basic case of application of the group exemption regulation.
(b) Block exemptions as an enforcement tool This is not the place to discuss the details of the group exemption as it was or as it has evolved over the years.
* Competition - Hungary claims already to be fully in compliance with EU rules on competition (even for group exemptions
), and will be seeking only a six-month post-accession period to allow firms to adjust their Association Agreements.
The Commission may grant individual or group exemptions
for those restrictive practices which violate Article 85(1) of the Treaty, but satisfy the criteria of Article 85(3).
Under exclusive distribution, for instance, there is a list of all the Commission's decisions, formal and informal, and the judgments of the Court and Court of First Instance involving the practice, followed by the text of the group exemptions
as corrected subsequently together with the Commission's notice on their interpretation, followed by lists of cases on territorial restrictions under several headings with the relevant paragraph numbers to the authorities indicated.
Their discussion of licensing and article 85 manages to steer the reader through case law, advisory rulings and group exemptions
to a basic list of do's and don't's that is clear and reasonably concise.
If a group exemption
is available, the parties need not notify the agreement and request an individual exemption; therefore, the paper work of the Commission is significantly lessened.