Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Horizontal Anticompetitive Agreements

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Javier Tapia, UCL Law writes on Horizontal Anticompetitive Agreements (Carácter Anticompetitivo de los Acuerdos Restrictivos de la Competencia).

ABSTRACT: This work (written in Spanish) summarises the most important aspects of the international literature on cartels and coordinated behaviour; provides some insights from Chilean practice; and proposes some policy options. Part I analyses general aspects of coordinated behaviour, from both legal and economic standpoints. Particularly, the conditions of sustainability of the coordination and the social costs of collusion are explained. Part II starts examining the concept of agreement and the means of proof. Then it makes a comparison between the treatment of collusion in Chile and Europe and the US. So far, the treatment of collusive behaviour in Chile - particularly regarding cartels - has been unfortunate in several aspects. However, a recent reform to the law should enable the introduction of a more accurate and modern approach. Crucially, I argue, the introduction of a per se rule is vital. This part ends with a brief description of the adequate level of enforcement. Part III assesses the main aspects of tacit collusion, with particular focus on parallel behaviour and information exchanges. Finally, the conclusion stresses the need for a pragmatic approach: to focus enforcement only on explicit agreements - at least at this early stage of development of the new rules introduced by the mentioned legal reform.

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