The FTC takes steps to stop and prevent unfair trade practices that can restrict competition and result in higher prices, lower quality, or lower service levels or less innovation. Anti-competitive practices include activities such as price fixing, group boycotts and exclusive distribution agreements or trade association rules, and are generally divided into two types: this agreement would likely raise concerns under section 45 of the Act. Subsection 45(1) of the Act provides that it is unlawful for two or more competitors to agree to maintain, increase or control the price of supply of a product. It is not necessary for the parties to communicate directly. In this case, the intermediary`s assurance that Y would increase its prices if X did the same facilitated the “coming of mind” of the parties, as required by subsection 45(1). If Company A had then had a similar conversation with Z and Z was not aware of X`s involvement in the plot, but was aware of Y`s involvement, Z could be found guilty of conspiracy with X and Y, even if it did not know that Company X was involved in the conspiracy. In addition, Company A may also be guilty of an offence under section 45 for complicity in conspiracy as described in sections 21 and 22 of the Code, even if Enterprise A does not compete with X, Y or Z in the retail market. A defendant may argue that there was no agreement, but if the government or a private party proves a simple pricing agreement, there is no defense against it. The defendants cannot justify their conduct on the ground that prices were reasonable for consumers, were necessary to avoid predatory competition or stimulated competition. However, the Bureau recognizes that, in certain circumstances, a supplier may effectively compete with a customer with respect to the delivered product.
For example, a supplier may sell products to a distributor to resell them in the market and at the same time choose to sell these products directly in the market. These supplier-reseller agreements may also take the form of agreements between the customer and the representative. Subsection 45(8) of the Act defines “price” within the meaning of subsection 45(1) as “any discount, rebate, allocation, price concession or other benefit related to the delivery of a product”. Therefore, an agreement to eliminate or reduce discounts is a pricing agreement. Accordingly, that agreement between competitors is examined in the light of Article 45(1) of the Law. An ancillary agreement exception is not applicable because there is no indication that the restriction of competition agreed by X and Y was reasonably necessary to promote or facilitate the objective of a broader agreement. In this respect, the desire of undertakings to acquire additional market shares is not a broader agreement in which price fixing is an element. On the contrary, the price-fixing agreement concluded between X and Y has no other objective than the restriction of competition between the parties. Therefore, this agreement would likely raise concerns under section 45 of the Act. Price agreements are an agreement (written, oral or derived from conduct) between competitors that increases, lowers or stabilizes prices or conditions of competition. In general, antitrust laws require each company to set prices and other terms itself without reaching an agreement with a competitor. When consumers make decisions about the products and services they want to buy, they expect the price to be freely determined based on supply and demand, not through an agreement between competitors.
When competitors agree to restrict competition, it often leads to higher prices. As a result, pricing is an important concern for state enforcement of antitrust laws. In non-collusive agreements, companies would try to improve their production or product in order to gain a competitive advantage. In a cartel, these companies have no incentive to do so. Not all price similarities or price changes that occur at the same time are the result of price fixing. On the contrary, they are often the result of normal market conditions. For example, the prices of raw materials such as wheat are often identical because the products are virtually identical and the prices charged by farmers all go up and down together without an agreement being reached between them. .