The Federal Trade Commission, in consultation with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has drafted "Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations Among Competitors." The agencies today issued the guidelines in draft form to obtain advice and suggestions from businesses, consumers, and antitrust practitioners.
Competitive forces of globalization and technology are driving firms toward complex collaborations to achieve goals such as expanding into foreign markets, funding expensive innovation efforts, and lowering production and other costs. The increasing varieties and use of collaborations by rivals have yielded requests for improved clarity regarding their treatment under the antitrust laws. The draft guidelines are a product of the Joint Venture Project to determine whether antitrust policies regarding joint ventures and other forms of collaborations could be clarified.
The draft guidelines apply to a wide range of joint ventures, strategic alliances and other collaborations among competitors and reflect the agencies' first joint effort to provide such broadly applicable guidance. The Chairman of the FTC, Robert Pitofsky, stated: "The new guidelines provide sound analytical guidance that will help businesses to assess the antitrust implications of collaborative arrangements with rivals, thereby encouraging procompetitive collaborations and deterring collaborations likely to harm competition and consumers."
A notice announcing the proposed guidelines and requesting advice and suggestions will be published in the Federal Register shortly. Parties interested in submitting views are requested to do so by January 5, 2000. All views should be submitted in written and electronic form to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Submissions should be captioned "Draft Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations Among Competitors - Submission of Views."
The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 4-0.
Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
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