It is essential that the parties focus on the potential anti-competitive effects of a horizontal agreement and ensure that legal and real cooperation agreements between two or more companies do not move to Chapter I or Article 101 territory. Marketing agreements between competitors can only restrict competition if the parties have some market power. In most cases, market power is unlikely if the parties to the agreement hold a cumulative market share of up to 15%. In any event, it is likely that the conditions set out in Article 101, paragraph 3, will be met if the parties` cumulative market share does not exceed 15%. Vertical chords operate upstream/downstream, while horizontal chords operate at the same level. The R and Restrict the competition sought when they do not really concern joint research and development, but serve as an instrument to exploit a disguised cartel, i.e. the otherwise prohibited pricing, the limitation of production or the distribution of the market. However, an agreement on D, which involves sharing any future results, is not necessarily restrictive of competition. Horizontal cooperation agreements, which do not include a combination of complementary skills or assets, are less likely to generate efficiency gains that benefit consumers.
Such agreements can reduce duplication of certain costs, for example. B because some fixed costs can be eliminated. However, fixed cost savings are generally less likely to generate savings for consumers, such as variable or marginal costs. Complementarities can result from different ways of horizontal cooperation agreements. A research and development agreement can bring together different research capabilities that allow parties to produce better products at a lower cost and reduce the time allotted to them until these products are brought to market. A production agreement can allow the parties to achieve economies of scale or scale that they have not been able to obtain individually. Horizontal cooperation agreements can combine different phases of cooperation. B such as research and development (“R and D”) and the production and/or marketing of their results. These agreements are generally covered by these guidelines.
When applying these guidelines for the analysis of such integrated cooperation, all chapters relating to the different parts of cooperation are generally relevant.