Exchanging competitively sensitive information between companies can constitute a cartel. Competition in the ports and transportation sectors is a key priority of the ACM, and therefore it announced on 30 January 2017 to engage in discussions with companies and trade associations in these sectors to get a better understanding of what information is exchanged to allow the ACM to address any competition concerns. In December 2016, the ACM presented the results of a study which showed that competition law awareness in the ports sector is low and the ACM indicated that it would take measures to address this. Entering into discussions on information exchange is one of these measures.
The ACM appreciates that in these sectors there is an objective need for information exchange to function properly. However, the exchange of competitively sensitive information is not allowed. This generally includes information on prices, inventories, customers, offers, investments, and market shares. This applies to direct exchanges between companies, but also to information that is disseminated through trade associations.
This initiative also underlines the importance that the ACM attaches to the prevention and prohibition of illegal information exchange between competitors in all industry sectors.