Information exchanges among competitors increase transparency in the market, which can lead to efficiency enhancing benefits but may also present competition risks. The challenge for competition enforcers is how to approach this conduct within the context of traditional competition laws. The assessment of the legality of information sharing is generally carried out within the context of traditional competition law prohibitions against cartels. Increased transparency in the market as a result of information sharing may both benefit consumers directly as well as produce efficiencies for the companies involved, resulting in improved consumer welfare. However, enhanced transparency can also facilitate the attainment of collusive equilibria among competitors or result in non-coordinated anticompetitive effects.The potential for anticompetitive effects depends on a number of key factors, such as the type of information exchanged and the structural characteristics of the market involved. The utilization of safe harbours and presumptions may be beneficial in the interest of legal certainty and enforcement efficiency. Safe harbours may be based either on market share, industry or the type of information exchanged.
Information Exchanges Between Competitors under Competition Law