On 12 September 2018, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) published its draft guide on the exchange of information on markets and prices, and has submitted it to a public consultation.
Trade associations regularly consult the BCA on market information they can exchange with their members, mainly to assist them in setting prices.
For reminder, exchanges of confidential information between competitors directly or through an intermediary may infringe competition law and result in fines.
The guide aims to clarify what is permissible or not under competition law and will apply only to exchange of information through trade associations and undertakings active on the market of supply of market information and not to direct exchange between competitors.
It covers periodical market surveys (historical data), price benchmarking, prospective information on market trends and tools to help undertakings set their prices.
The guide includes pragmatic tips and examples, a summary of the BCA’s previous decisions on trade associations and extracts from the European Commission’s guidelines on horizontal agreements.
The draft guide is available via the following links: