Vertical and horizontal agreements

Effects-based analyses are playing a much greater role in the assessment of agreements, whether vertical (between suppliers and customers, such as ‘most-favoured nation’ clauses) or horizontal (including JVs and information exchanges). Vertical agreements often carry strong efficiency benefits, so that an effects-based economic analysis is crucial in distinguishing between problematic and beneficial cases.

Similarly, economics plays a role in identifying whether an exchange of information had an adverse effect on competition in the market. Even in cartel cases economics is playing a greater role – especially in terms of assessing the effectiveness of the cartel, which can be an important element in negotiating a settlement with the authorities.

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