Cooperation is “horizontal” when an agreement is reached between actual or potential competitors. In addition, these guidelines also apply to horizontal cooperation agreements between non-competitors, for example. B between two undertakings operating in the same product markets, but in different geographical markets, without being potential competitors. Horizontal cooperation agreements can bring significant economic benefits, in particular when they combine complementary activities, capacities or assets. Horizontal cooperation can be a means of sharing risks, reducing costs, increasing investment, pooling know-how, improving product quality and diversity and accelerating the time to market of innovation. On the other hand, horizontal cooperation agreements can create competition concerns. This is the case, for example, when the parties agree to determine prices, production or share markets, or when cooperation allows the parties to maintain, gain or increase their market power, which may have negative effects on the market in terms of price, production, quality of products, product diversity or innovation. While recognising the benefits that horizontal cooperation agreements can derive, the Commission must ensure that effective competition is maintained. Article 101 provides the legal framework for a balanced assessment that takes into account both the negative effects on competition and the beneficial effects on competition.
© EUR Lex 1.4 This is a voluntary cooperation between the parties as a sole proprietorship and not as a joint venture, joint venture or other legal person, and each party remains responsible for its own activities and cannot legally bind or retain the other party without further agreement. In principle, a cooperation agreement can only be terminated if (i) the duration of the contract has expired or (ii) one of the contracting parties fails to comply with its obligations under the Treaty. Whether or not there is no non-performance must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of the case. By noting in advance what constitutes non-compliance by the parties, it is possible to avoid conflicts. We also work with private organizations such as NGOs, associations, foundations, academies or companies. These relationships are formalized in various legal instruments, such as cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding. Each agreement and its provisions are specific to the scope of cooperation; this may include exchange of information, mutual identification projects, access to databases, mutual representation or means of technical assistance. Cooperation agreements shall be drawn up through reciprocal negotiations in accordance with the relevant legal instruments and then signed by authorised representatives of the parties. However, agreements are living documents and can be amended by both parties or replaced by new agreements, if there are needs and agreements. The great deal of contractual freedom in drawing up cooperation agreements allows the parties to decide for themselves what they wish to incorporate into the agreement. .