Joint Purchasing Agreements Competition Law

Other types of subcontracting between competitors (designated by the Commission as subcontractors for the extension of production. B, for example, custom manufacturing agreements) are not covered by the category exemption, but similar principles apply under the guidelines. The Commission`s contracting notice7 may also be important. In circumstances where the 20% market share ceiling is exceeded (or where characterized restrictions are included), most of the generic programs listed in Section 3 are likely to be relevant in determining whether cooperation restricts competition in violation of Article 101, paragraph 1, and, if so, whether an exemption under Article 101 paragraph 3 is justified. If hardcore restrictions are included, an exception is unlikely. The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) issued a business evaluation letter in which it stated its intention not to challenge the American Optometric Association`s (AOA) plan to extend the group`s purchases to optometric products such as corrective lenses, eyeglass frames and contact lenses. A company or other organization may file a proposed complaint and obtain a statement as to the DOJ`s intention to challenge the measure under antitrust law. The AOA is a professional association of about 27,000 doctors independent of optometry and other players in the sector. While some physicians are competing to purchase optometric products, DOJ has concluded that the AOA plan is unlikely to harm consumers. This case recalls that cartel and abuse legislation allows for certain competing cooperations, such as joint purchase agreements. B, which benefit consumers. In this context, it is important to ensure that the licence does not contain severe competition restrictions set out in the TTBE.

The existence of such restrictions is extremely difficult to justify under Article 101, paragraph 3, and should nullify the entire licence and expose the parties to the risk of fines and actions for damages from third parties. The restrictions of an IPR licence between competitors under the TTBE are the same: although antitrust legislation limits certain common behaviour between competitors, DOJ`s letter reminds that competitors can cooperate to benefit consumers. Companies that are properly structured and working with competitors can result in improved volume discounts, lower transaction costs, lower prices, new or improved products or services, interoperable products, or better access to otherwise unavailable products or services. If the 15% market share threshold is exceeded, most of the generic issues mentioned in point 3 are again relevant. The guidelines include a number of other points of particular importance for joint purchase agreements: finally, it should be noted that, in its succinct April 2010 opinion on a joint purchase agreement between Palmer and Harvey McLane and Makro-Self-Service Wholesalers, the British Office of Fair Trading (predecessor of the UK Competition and Market Supervisory Authority), a more user-friendly approach to joint purchasing was adopted.


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