Friday, October 7, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Okeoghene Odudu (Cambrudge Law) has published Indirect Information Exchange: The Constituent Elements of Hub and Spoke Collusion.
ABSTRACT: Attempts by competition authorities to control the information an undertaking can receive about its competitors-not from the competing undertaking directly, but via a common trading partner-have caused some uncertainty. In the Guidelines on horizontal co-operation the European Commission draw attention to the exchange of information "indirectly through a common agency (for example, a trade association) or a third party such as a market research organisation or through the companies' suppliers or retailers." With little elaboration, the Commission cautions that exchanges via such intermediaries may well infringe competition law. The aim of this paper is to consider the response developed by the United Kingdom competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading, to address the indirect flow of strategic information between competitors via their common trading partner.