How to assess competitive risks arising from information exchange between competitors?

Even though the autonomy requirement excludes competitors’ information exchanges of which the purpose or the effect would be to distort the market forces of supply and demand, certain exchanges can nonetheless be deemed to favor competition. Generally speaking, the consequences of exchanges of information on the market forces of supply and demand differ depending on either the characteristics of the market in question and the nature of the information exchanged or the conditions of the exchange. In relation to court decisions and case law, competition authorities have stipulated the analysis criteria that they apply and which are specified in this article. With respect to the risks that might be generated by any such information exchanges, companies need to set up management procedures to appraise the compatibility of their exchanges with competition rules.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. In a period of particularly weak growth, economic operators need to know their markets well in order to be as efficient and competitive as possible. This knowledge of the market involves gathering a great deal of information from a variety of sources: customers, specialist bodies, the press, professional associations and sometimes from their competitors themselves. 2. If decision-making practice considers that it is not prohibited to adapt intelligently to the behaviour of its competitors, it is still necessary for every economic operator to determine autonomously the policy which it intends to follow on the market and the conditions which it intends

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Frédéric Puel, Laurent François-Martin, How to assess competitive risks arising from information exchange between competitors?, May 2011, Concurrences N° 2-2011, Art. N° 35706,

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