Decision of the Commission pursuant to Article 101(3) of the EC Treaty to exempt notified agreements between companies from the prohibition of Article 101(1) of the EC Treaty, on the basis of an individual assessment (see Block exemption regulation). In broad terms, restrictive agreements qualify for exemption if their benefits to general welfare (product improvement, technical or economic progress, benefits to consumer) outweigh their restrictive effects on competition.

Source: Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy, Antitrust and control of concentrations, European Commission, 2002

Note that following the modernisation of antitrust enforcement in Regulation 1/2003, although individual exemptions remain possible, none have been granted by the European Commission.