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Are all oligopoly information exchanges bad for competition?

February 2007

World Competition

The European Commission handed down its first decision relating to a pure information exchange in 1992 with UK Agricultural Tractor Registration Exchange. France’s competition authority recently referred to that decision when it found against seven Parisian luxury hotels and three mobile telephony operators. The companies shared sales information with each other on a regular basis for several years. This paper discusses the UK Tractors case from an economic standpoint and its application to the French competition authority’s recent two decisions. The author calls for a clarification in the enforcement of Article 81 of the EC Treaty between evidence of tacit collusion and evidence of static anticompetitive effects of information exchanges.  

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