EU horizontal cooperation guidelines take effect

At the beginning of 2011, the EU "Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to horizontal co-operation agreements" became effective. These guidelines have an introductory section on "Basic Principles" applied to agreements of this kind, followed by six sections that deal separately with specific kinds of horizontal agreements: information exchanges between competitors, research and development agreements, agreements to rationalize production, joint purchasing agreements, joint selling and marketing agreements (referred to as Commercialization), and standardization. This article offers general observations of experienced U.S. antitrust lawyers who often need to take account of antitrust regulation in the European Union and work with their European colleagues to provide global advice to clients.

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