Horizontal Agreements Among Competitors
The exchange of information between competitors is a very broad subject, ranging from the disclosure of prices or expected quantities (very high risk) to the annual dissemination of historical industry market statistics (low risk). The guidelines confirm that the exchange of information will represent a low risk if: “horizontal cooperation” of agreements or agreements between companies operating at the same level of the supply chain, i.e. real (or potential) competitors). B, for example, a joint R and D between competing technology companies or a distribution and marketing joint venture between competitors. On the other hand, “vertical” agreements between companies operating at different levels of the supply chain. B are, for example, a contract to supply a supplier of raw materials to a producer or a distribution agreement between a producer and a retailer4. This applies to the joint sale, where the parties agree on all commercial aspects related to the sale of the product, including the price. However, it also includes more limited forms of cooperation, such as distribution agreements. B (for example.
B, a party appoints its competitor for the distribution of its products in a given territory), after-sales service, advertising or logistics. These limited situations proposed by the Commission could be used to justify an information-sharing agreement which, on the face of it, is contrary to Article 101, paragraph 1, is not always applicable (most of the information exchanged between competitors is not published) or does not reflect the only or main reason for exchanging information (it seems unlikely that stronger competitors will want to reveal to their less successful competitors the reasons for their success in order to enable them to catch up with their delay). The Commission`s proposals highlight the difficulties in applying Article 101, paragraph 3, in this context. Competitors considering an information exchange agreement are therefore more likely to escape competition problems by ensuring that their agreement cannot be characterized as anti-competitive than to justify it as consumer-friendly. Horizontal agreements are restrictive agreements between competitors operating at the same level of the production and distribution chain. Horizontal agreements that, directly or indirectly, result in or are likely to have the effect of preventing, distorting or restricting competition are in themselves violations. Section 4 of the Competition Protection Act 4054 (the “Competition Act”) prohibits them directly. agreement between the actual definition or definition of potential competitors, i.e. companies operating at the same level of the production or distribution chain. B and which include research and development, production, purchasing or marketing.