Exchange of information in the course of merger

Workshop organized by Concurrences in partnership with DLA Piper.

Martine Béhar-Touchais

Exchange of information between competitors in the context of cartels or concentrations

In order to avoid the exchange of objectionable information during merger negotiations, in practice, two data rooms are used, one containing the least sensitive information intended for a first round of negotiations, and the other containing the most sensitive information intended for the final buyer.

How can a merger be implemented without exchanging information? The latter sometimes has benefits: better information can improve economic efficiency, by informing operators about the state of demand or increasing the efficiency of their production. This was recognised by the Court of Cassation in the mobile case, and the Commission’s Guidelines on Horizontal Cooperation Agreements provide for this. But exchanges of information can also have harmful effects and increase the risk of collusion by promoting tacit coordination of behaviour.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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