The Antitrust Authority published for public comments a new guidelines draft on the subject of information-sharing between competitors for the purpose of contending with cyber threats.

Under certain circumstances, information-sharing among competitors may constitute a restrictive trade practice pursuant to the Restrictive Trade Practices Law.

In light of the importance of information-sharing between commercial entities in Israel for the purpose of defending against cyber threats, and for the purpose of protecting the State’s essential infrastructure, the Antitrust Commissioner, Michal Halperin, decided to clarify her position in this regard.

The opinion presents guidelines for analyzing the competitive nature of information-sharing, and provides criteria for evaluating information-sharing arrangements and, thus, increases the certainty for entities wanting to take part in cybersecurity information-sharing schemes, without being concerned about violating provisions of the Restrictive Trade Practices Law.

The opinion defines two criteria for cybersecurity information-sharing.

The first criterion focuses on the type of information being exchanged within the scope of information-sharing. The draft guidelines clarify in this regard that, insofar as the information being exchanged is necessary for the purposes of increasing cybersecurity, and provided that it has no bearing on the parties’ business activities, then no concern will arise about any coordination of commercial activities between competing entities.

The second criterion focuses on the effects of denying access to cybersecurity information-sharing schemes from a competitor. Since cybersecurity information provides valuable information to entities operating in a relevant sector or market, preventing access to such information-sharing schemes is liable to impair their competitive capabilities, to raise the entry barriers to the market and sometimes, might even prevent new entities from entering a market, thus constituting a restrictive arrangement by itself.

For the link to the draft opinion: (in Hebrew) click here