Stormville Oil

Standardisation Agreement Competition Law

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The exchange of information can only be considered under Article 101 if it creates or participates in an agreement, a concerted practice or a decision of a business association. The existence of an agreement, a concerted practice or a decision of a business association does not prejudge whether the agreement, concerted practice or decision of a business association leads to a restriction of competition within the meaning of Article 101, paragraph 1. In accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice, the concept of concerted practice refers to a form of coordination between companies wherever, without reaching the stage at which an agreement has been reached, practical cooperation between them knowingly replaces the risks associated with competition. The criteria for coordination and cooperation necessary to determine the existence of a concerted practice are far from necessary for the development of a genuine plan, given the concept inherent in the provisions of the Competition Treaty, that each company must independently determine the policies it intends to pursue in the internal market and the conditions it intends to offer its customers. Horizontal cooperation agreements can restrict competition in several respects. The agreement may be: Analysis: like Article 7, paragraph 331, although the agreement is voluntary, it is very likely that it will become a de facto common industrial practice, given that retailers are also encouraged by the government to reduce packaging waste and domestic producers account for 65% of the product`s sales within the Member State. The fact that the producers concerned have not been consulted in other Member States has led to the introduction of a standard that imposes higher intermediation costs on them than domestic producers. The agreement can therefore create barriers to entry and cause potential anti-competitive locking effects for packaging suppliers, new entrants and importers, not all of whom have been involved in the process of developing the standard, as they may have to repackage the product to meet de facto standards in order to sell in the Member State if the size of the packaging used in other Member States does not meet the standard. (49) See case C-8/08, T-Mobile Netherlands, point 1. 59: “Depending on the market structure, it cannot be ruled out that a meeting between competitors, such as the one at issue in the main case, can provide a sufficient basis for the companies concerned to coordinate their market behaviour and thus successfully replace practical cooperation between them with competition and the risks associated with it.” Factors such as whether the parties to the agreement have high market shares, whether they are close competitors, whether customers have limited opportunities to switch suppliers, whether competitors are not likely to increase supply in the event of price increases and whether one of the parties to the agreement is a significant competitive force, are relevant to the assessment of competition in the agreement.