The Future of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation - or How Special is the Insurance Sector?

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The Future of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation - or How Special is the Insurance Sector?

Jeanine Bartmann, Group Legal Services, Allianz SE, Germany

Subject to certain conditions, the current Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (BER) exempts important forms of cooperation in the insurance industry from the application of the prohibition of anti-competitive practices in Article 81 EC Treaty, namely: • joint calculations, tables and studies, • standard policy conditions (SPC), • pools and • security devices . The BER will expire by default on 31 March 2010. Under the Implementing Regulation , the European Commission is required six years after its entry into force, to submit a report to the European Parliament and Council on the functioning of the BER together with any proposals for amendment in the light of experience. The Commission started its review of the functioning of the BER in April 2008, launching a consultation. In addition to the consultation, the Commission sent questionnaires to certain stakeholders, public authorities and consumer organizations. Also, the national competition authorities have been closely involved in the review.

Dr. Jeannine Bartmann is a German attorney at law and senior legal counsel at the legal department of Allianz SE, Munich. As head of unit “Competition, IP and IT Law” she advises companies of the Allianz Group in all matters of German and European competition law. Furthermore Dr. Bartmann holds seminars dealing with insurance-specific competition law matters as part of internal compliance programs and external trainings. Before joining Allianz, Dr. Bartmann was junior partner at an international German-based law firm advising clients in competition and IP Law.

Allianz SE is the parent company of the Allianz Group, one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide. With nearly 155,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 75 million customers in about 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the market leader in the German market and has a strong international presence. In fiscal 2008 the Allianz Group achieved total revenues of over 92.5 billion euros. Allianz is also one of the world's largest asset managers, with third-party assets of 703 billion euros under management at year end 2008. In 2006 Allianz SE became the first company in the Dow Jones EURO STOXX 50 Index to adopt the legal form of a Societas Europaea, which is a new European legal form for stock corporations. Allianz SE shares are traded on all German stock exchanges as well as in London, Zurich, Paris and Milan. Moreover Allianz became the first German financial services provider to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange, where they have been trading in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADR). 100 percent of the stock is free float.

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