Cartel Non-Compete Agreement

Basic hard cartels (when they agree not to compete) are the most serious violations of competition law. They hurt customers by increasing prices and limiting supply, making goods and services totally inaccessible to some buyers and unnecessarily expensive for others. This article was nominated for the Antitrust Writing Awards 2020. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In a September 13, 2019 enforcement action, the Federal Trade Commission called on the parties to review their agreement on the sale of a pipeline. It is also possible that companies may later argue over the non-competition clause on which they have agreed. For example, a recent gueldre court ruling on an exclusivity clause between a producer and a compost buyer for fungal cultivation. The party that wants to get rid of the non-competition clause then often invokes the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements (agreements) contained in Section 6 of the Competition Act and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE). The party sticking to the clause then argues that the agreement is inconclusive because it restricts competition.

Dutch judges often reject this assertion because the applicant did not make enough arguments for the judge to conclude that the clause effectively limited competition. Berkhof – Partners/X is an example. If an agreement contributes to economic or technical progress, it may be eligible. A fair share of the benefits of these agreements must be addressed to customers. The agreement can only cover what is absolutely necessary and there must still be room for competition. The CMA has guidelines for cooperation agreements on sustainable entrepreneurship (fair trade) and health care. This blog deals with several Dutch rulings on non-competition bans and cartel bans, which show that an appropriate justification for the market in question and the market shares of the parties can make a difference. Cartels are very difficult to detect. They can involve many companies in the sector and customers are rarely able to discover the existence of a cartel. Antitrust authorities should be helped to detect cartels through various means and instruments, the most effective leniency programs. These programs provide for immunity or reduction of penalties for cartel members who cooperate with competition authorities (or “whistleblowers”). Most OECD countries have adopted leniency programmes that have helped to increase the success rate in cartel detection.

A senior Justice Department (DOJ) official recently noted that the number of “poach-free” agreements between companies – which may include agreements not to recruit or hire a competitor`s employees – is “shocking” with the guidelines of the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (…) In 2013, EU legislation provides exceptions for certain categories of research and development agreements, technology transfer and specialisation. FTC sues to Unwind Altria`s $12.8 billion investment in its competitor JUUL, the Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint accusing Altria Group, Inc.