Parallel market behaviour is an example of a controversial area of evidence in cartel cases. The controversy is whether, in a given case, evidence that several market producers acted in the same manner leads to the conclusion that some kind of agreement or consultation took place between them and, if so, how strong that conclusion is. In practice, agreements can range from a secret pricing and market allocation agreement (hereafter the “smoke-filled space”) to a vague “consent agreement” to a simple drift to a practice that facilitates the prevention of competition. Pricing can take many forms. The essential principle is that any agreement or agreement with the purpose or effect of setting prices is prohibited. Article 81, paragraph 1 (ex-Article 85, paragraph 1, EC) prohibits any agreement affecting prices, such as discounts, margins, rebates and credit conditions. The European Court of Justice has made an early interpretation in THE case OF ICI Limited/COMMISSION (14): in recent cases, Cewal (4) has entered into agreements between different maritime conferences in which they would not compete “as foreigners in their respective fields of activity”. The Commission has designated these agreements as a division of europe`s Atlantic coast into several separate regions of one or more Member States. The decision was confirmed in the Belgian Maritime Company Transport S.A./EG Commission (5). As a result, horizontal agreements differ from vertical agreements between companies operating at different levels of trade or .B industry, for example between large and retail companies. The term “naked” is due to the fact that the agreement serves only the personal interest of the company concerned.

A bare reluctance is distinguished from the other restrictions by their lack of solid justification. In general, a restriction of competition can be justified as an accessory to a broader legitimate objective. This may be the case where an agreement has an overall pro-competition effect, while part of the agreement, without which it would not be viable, limits competition. You can`t say that about a naked cartel. (1) The agreement must include a detailed and binding programme of closures for each production centre, which ensures, on the one hand, an irreversible reduction in overcapacity and, on the other hand, that no new capacity will be created during the plan, except for the replacement capacities provided in the recovery programme. Horizontal competition restrictions and bare agreements affecting trade between Member States are generally prohibited by Article 81, paragraph 1 (ex-Article 85, paragraph 1, EC) and may only be exempted exceptionally under Article 81, paragraph 3 (ex-Article 85, paragraph 3). Horizontal agreements and bare agreements deal with the “classic” and most serious types of cartel problems: pricing, market distribution, import or export bans, production or distribution quotas, exchange of information, etc. What prompted you to look for horizontal chords? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). Exceptions to such price agreements are rare. The Commission also found that Article 81, paragraph 1 (ex-Article 85, paragraph 1) (EC) had not prevented book sellers from increasing their market share by selling books below the price set by their publishers and by replicating to consumers the benefits of a flexible pricing system, applying Article 81, paragraph 1 (ex-Article 85, paragraph 1, EC) and failing to meet any of the conditions set out in Article 81, paragraph 3( (ex-Article 85, paragraph 3), EC.