With recent court decisions in Europe, the treatment of exchanges of competitively sensitive information among competitors represents a new frontier in antitrust enforcement. These exchanges may sometimes take place without any other unlawful conduct such as price-fixing, and can take place directly through meetings, emails or phone calls among competitors, or indirectly, such as through an industry association or a market intelligence firm.
There is little consistency in how antitrust enforcers in different countries approach information-exchange issues. In the United States, absent any other evidence of a price-fixing agreement, exchanges of competitively sensitive information are typically evaluated under the rule of reason.
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