In a truly competitive market, consumers benefit from price competition, improved product development, improved product specifications and the quality of services between competitors. Competition law concerns agreements or practices that effectively or potentially distort competition in a market in a way that ultimately harms the consumer. Anti-competitive agreements are agreements between competitors designed to prevent, restrict or distort competition. Section 34 of the Competition Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, decisions and practices. A: A uniform and simultaneous price change could result from a price agreement, but it could also result from independent commercial reactions to the same market conditions. For example, if international oil market conditions lead to higher crude oil prices, this could lead to higher wholesale gasoline prices. Local gas stations can respond to rising wholesale gasoline prices by increasing their prices to cover these higher costs. Other market forces, such as the public publication of current prices (as is the case at most gas stations), encourage suppliers to quickly adjust their own prices so as not to lose revenue. However, if there is evidence that gas station operators discussed price increases among themselves and agreed on a common price plan, it could be a breach of the agreement. Examples of horizontal pricing agreements include agreements to comply with a price plan or range; setting minimum or maximum prices promote cooperative prices or restrict advertising; uniformity of terms of sale such as credits, mark-ups, trade-ins, rebates or rebates; and standardize the package of goods and services included in a given price. All of these agreements are, in and of themselves, illegal under U.S. cartel and abuse of dominance legislation; In other words, the court will consider such an agreement to be anti-competitive and will not hear arguments that the agreement will effectively improve the quality, competition or well-being of consumers in a particular case.
Horizontal price agreements are also illegal under European Union (EU) competition law, where they are similarly subject to so-called « hardcore » restrictions. For example, an agreement that would otherwise fall under Chapter 1 or Article 101 may be considered to be unsymiesued if the parties are not real or potential competitors or have market shares so small that there can be no real impact on competition or trade in the UK or between EU Member States. However, it is found that agreements considered to be aimed at, including cartel practices and abuse of dominance, are almost always contrary to competition rules, regardless of market share. Pricing occurs when competitors agree on pricing rather than competing. With regard to price-fixing, the Competition and Consumer Protection Act refers to the « fixing, control or maintenance » of prices. A price-fixing agreement occurs when competitors enter into agreements or enter into written, informal or oral agreements: the legitimate business reasons why a company can adjust its prices to a competitor include reaction to clearly visible prices displayed by competitors (e.g.B.