Horizontal Agreements In Eu

Joint marketing usually involves the exchange of commercially sensitive information, including on marketing strategy and pricing. In most marketing agreements, some degree of exchange of information is required to implement the agreement. It should therefore be ascerated whether the exchange of information can lead to a colluded result with regard to the activities of the parties inside and outside the cooperation. The possible negative effects of the exchange of information shall not be assessed separately, but in the light of the overall impact of the agreement. Standardization agreements often lead to significant efficiency gains. For example, Union-wide standards can facilitate market integration and allow businesses to market their goods and services in all Member States, leading to a wider variety of consumers and lower prices. Technical interoperability and compatibility standards often promote competition between different companies` technologies and help prevent attachment to a given supplier. In addition, standards can reduce transaction costs for both sellers and buyers. Standards, such as quality, safety and environmental aspects of a product, can also facilitate consumer choice and improve product quality. Standards also play an important role in innovation. They can reduce the time it takes to bring a new technology to market and facilitate innovation by allowing companies to rely on agreed solutions. In order to achieve these efficiency gains in standardisation agreements, the information necessary for the application of the standard must be effectively available to those wishing to enter the market (126).

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