Beware of Public Announcements! Recent European Competition Developments on Price Signalling

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Forward public announcements of prices and outputs are common in many industries. The effect of such announcements on competition has traditionally been considered ambiguous. Partly for that reason, simple price announcements have been difficult for the agencies to attack under the antitrust rules in the absence of evidence of actual collusion. While there have been a few challenges in the US over the years, there is little precedent. However, recent action by the European Commission and some Member States appears designed to send a clear signal: agencies are prepared to be more aggressive about future pricing announcements. Hence, it may be wise to revisit the traditional compliance approach to public price statements on either side of the Atlantic.

Information Exchanges in EU Competition Law -

A key feature of the European Commission’s (the “Commission”) 2010 reform of its rules for the assessment of cooperation agreements between competitors2 was a new chapter devoted to exchanges of information.3 While this new section had some merit in setting out the principles developed by the Commission and the European Courts over the years, it did not provide a safe harbour to the application of EU antitrust law to information exchanges and in some ways laid the foundations for a more interventionist approach.

Please see full memo below for more information.

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Topics:  Competition, EU, Price-Fixing

Published In: Antitrust & Trade Regulation Updates, General Business Updates, International Trade Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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