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One area of concern is the exchange of price data or other sensitive business data between competitors, whether within a commercial or professional organization or another occupational group. Any exchange of data or statistical reports containing up-to-date prices or information to identify the data of certain competitors may raise problems of cartels and abuse of dominance if it favours more uniform prices than would usually be the case. In general, data reporting costs or data other than price and historical data are less likely to raise concerns about cartels and abuse of dominance instead of current or future data. The dissemination of aggregated data managed by an independent third party is also less of a concern. The FTC and DOJ have developed guidelines known as the Antitrust Insurance Policy Reporting in Health Care for health care providers who share price and cost data, and the principles set out in these guidelines apply broadly to other sectors. The DOJ has also published numerous audit letters concerning the proposed exchange of information between the various professional organisations. On 27 February 2020, the Administrative Court of Paris ruled that the measures taken by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) to promote and market electronic signature certificates proposed by ChamberSign do not constitute state aid. The dispute is interesting insofar as it (…) A: Many professional organizations maintain sector statistics and share aggregated data with members. It is unlikely that the collection of historical data by an independent third party, para. For example, a trade association, which will then be shared or aggregated, will not pose competition problems. Other factors may also reduce the risk of cartels and abuse of dominance.
For example, declarations of enforcement of cartel enforcement and abuse of dominance in the health sector contain a “safe zone” for the exchange of data ((1), collected and managed by a third party (such as a trade association); (2) contain data of more than three months; and (3) at least five participants for whom no individual participant represents more than 25% on the weighted basis of reported statistics, and the data are aggregated so that it is impossible to identify the data of a given participant. Marketing Communication Association SAR to change its practices The Marketing Communication Association SAR affected the independence of its members in tenders and organized unauthorized exchange of information. UOKiK President Tomasz Chrsstny has committed the association to (…) Companies should verify and use relevant competitor information that is published with discernment by professional organizations, in particular information on the existing or future prices of a leading company, upstream and downstream business costs, and price changes. In certain circumstances, this information may be identified as the triggers for a monopoly price agreement. For example, when a trade association publishes prices, such a coincidence would likely be identified as an agreement if its members seek to promote their products or services according to the same trend, as all elements of a concerted practice are satisfied. Can companies provide a reasonable explanation for their concerted practice? Because the guidelines provide guidance to associations in the conduct of their activities, they will have a direct impact on the legal risk assessment and the day-to-day activities of professional organizations and their members. This update analyzes the impact of the guidelines on compliance with cartel rules and abuse of dominant position from the members` point of view. While the public practices of professional organizations, such as price recommendations and royalty schedules, are likely to be easy targets for HKCC, non-public practices are also highlighted. Indeed, the HKCC has already received