Caution when dealing with competitors

Auch bei Verbandstreffen ist Vorsicht geboten.

Antitrust authorities are increasingly monitoring the exchange of information between competitors. An investigation may be threatened if competitors implicitly coordinate their business conduct with each other. Even a company’s unilateral information to a competitor that it is considering a price increase can be regarded as sensitive in terms of competition law.

When dealing with competitors, you should therefore avoid

  • Agreements regarding prices or discounts
  • Agreements on quantities or quotas
  • Dividing the market by regions or customers
  • Common courses of action in regard to suppliers, dealers or customers
  • Statements about your own pricing policy, discounts or capacities
  • Joint strategies regarding private or public tenders
  • The terms “monopoly”, “market power” or “market leader” in your advertising messages

Do not automatically assume that your conduct is permitted under antitrust law if the entire industry or other companies behave in a similar manner. Caution is also required at association meetings: if those present talk about prices, quantities or territories, it is necessary for you have your protest entered into the minutes and to leave the meeting if sensitive topics come up.